The Magnificent Jacksons and Jackson Dolls – Lighting Up Atlantic City

Jacksons Doll Productions - Renee Sudderth, President Starr Hayes and Tracee Hayes at the Jacksons' concert in Atlantic City, New Jersey - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

On Friday, August 31, 2018 one day before the Legendary Jacksons would perform for many at the newly opened Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on the Atlantic City, New Jersey,’s historic Boardwalk, many others gathered to say farewell to Aretha Franklin, the “Queen of Soul” in Detroit, Michigan. I would have loved giving my last “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” to her in Detroit, but I could not be in two places at the same time. I had prearranged to meet Starr Hayes and her daughter, Tracee Hayes of Jackson Doll Productions (JDP), to watch the Jacksons in concert, interview them, and make my long-time dream come true.

The Legendary Jacksons still looking and sounding good and still making their fan’s dreams come true – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

My three previous Splash Magazine articles on the Jacksons led me to this “dream come true” journey to Atlantic City because of God and Him using Starr. In June 2018, when the Jacksons performed a beautiful, and memorable, outdoor concert in Detroit, I was blessed to meet Starr. Then, in July 2018, I shared Starr’s intriguing life story as the President of this fan club/charitable organization that has survived for almost 50 years and gives service back to many communities. She told about her exciting life with the Jackson Family including the family’s two beloved deceased family members, Mr. Joseph Jackson and Michael Jackson.

Starr Hayes always handling business for Jackson Doll Productions – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

Prior to this article, “A Concert and Interview With The Legendary Jacksons – A Dream Comes True” was published to offer Splash Magazine Worldwide readers an in-depth story of the Jacksons’ concert and interview. The interview was conducted by the dynamic duo of Starr and Renee, while Tracee video recorded this great interview. The excitement prior and after the musical dynasty concert and interview was breath taking.

The day before we were going to meet the Jacksons on Saturday, Starr called me while I was in my room to say, “It’s time to come organize the gift bags”. We wanted to make sure all the carefully selected items in the gift bags we prepared for the Jacksons were properly in placed before we gave it to them. As soon as I walked into Starr and Tracee’s room, I was immediately overwhelmed with emotion, and tears. On the table, I saw four individual photo frames lined up with each Jackson son (Marlon, Jermaine, Tito, Jackie) posing individually with their father, the late Joseph Jackson who passed two months ago (June 27, 2018). It took me several minutes to get myself together.

In that precious moment, Starr placed on me my official “Jackson Doll” sash that the “Jackson Dolls” wear with class, grace, elegance, dignity and prestige because we represent the Jacksons. Filled with deep feelings, we finally completed our mission before Saturday, the big day.

Renee Sudderth, the newest Jackson Dolls who was very honored on this special weekend – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

The next day, this new Jackson Doll, woke up thanking God again for this exciting once-in-a-lifetime experience. However, I was still nervous knowing I was going to meet The Jacksons and interview them after their concert. I called my father and his words of wisdom were “Be Strong and Be Yourself”.

Also, I thought about what my childhood friend/National Basketball Association (NBA) Assistant Coach-Sacramento Kings Elston Turner said to me when I told him the exciting news last month. I shared with him that I have loved and admired the Jacksons since I was 10, and now, unbelievably, I’m preparing to interview them and I’m not sure how emotional I will become. Elston’s best words were, “Renee, all my life I dreamed of playing in the NBA and admired many of the players. My opportunity to play with the greats had finally come so I had to make a decision—go back to the locker room or stay out on the court and do my job”. After almost 40 years being a NBA-Player/Coach, I guess he didn’t go back to the locker room and that’s what I kept in mind in preparing for my interview with the high-profile major league Jacksons!!!

Pastor Sanford Miller, Renee Sudderth and Coach Elston Turner childhood friends who have always been inspirational to each other and everyone – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

Finally, the time had come for the Jackson Dolls to make our grand entry into the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino to see the Jacksons perform their concert.

Jackson Doll Productions – President Starr Hayes, Renee Sudderth and Tracee Hayes preparing to see the Jacksons in concert – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

Prior to the concert’s starting time, Starr, Tracee and I had a great time filming, talking and laughing with the Jacksons’ fans with their memorabilia and wearing their Jackson 5/Jacksons/Michael Jackson’s apparel.

Jackson Dolls and Fans – Photo Courtesy by Renee Sudderth
The Jacksons’ Fans comes out in full force – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth
Both the Jacksons’ fans and Jacksons were excited about seeing each other – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

The concert was filled with excitement and emotional times especially when Jermaine Jackson gave a special tribute by singing “Gone Too Soon” for his beloved brother, the late Michael Jackson. This was beautifully done while photos appeared on the big screens.

A true Jacksons Fan – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth
The Jackson Dolls and Chad Wright the Jacksons’ spectacular drummer all the way from Atlanta, Georgia – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

Yes, the interview was a success and it was truly a blessing listening to the brothers share their careers and lives with us!

The Jacksons take the stage and give us what we want – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

As we said our goodbyes, I mentioned to Jackie that I retired two years ago from the Air Force after 33 years. He was amazed and said “Marlon; she retired from the military after 33 years.” Marlon looked with glee and then he slapped a HIGH FIVE with me!!! That right there was a defining moment for me! Marlon and Jackie of The Jacksons had given me the stamp of approval of my career. Most may not understand how that jester made me feel. After serving my country for all those years you are bound to have your share of ups and downs in a career. The Jacksons’ validation help soothe the rough parts of my career and emotionally I will never forget that feeling and how they “saluted” me.

The Jacksons love interacting with their fans – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

After the great interview, we left the Jacksons, and were passing through the Resort Casino when we heard the DJ playing Techno, great dancing music. The Jackson Dolls thought we were walking in there to celebrate the Jacksons’ amazing concert and dance to two songs but we ended up dancing to about 15 songs and taking photos with others. The DJ played a total of 4 Jacksons’ songs consecutively and we really danced hard and the crowd was cheering for us like we were superstars. After our performance, the Jackson Dolls jokingly said the Jacksons performed their concert and we performed our “after party” concert. The DJ said the club had never been that hyped and he really enjoyed himself too and he thanked us. Not only did he give a tribute to the Jacksons but he saluted Aretha Franklin and acknowledged Detroit since this was her weekend the world said farewell.

The Jackson Dolls using the Jacksons’ moves they just saw at their electrifying concert – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

As I “Remember The Times” of this great weekend having dual roles as a Splash Magazine Photojournalist and the newest Jacksons Doll, I will always be grateful to God Almighty, Starr, Jackson Doll Productions, the Jacksons’ Management and the Legendary Jacksons for making this one of the most memorable moments in my life.

Marlon Jackson,  Jackie Jackson, Renee Sudderth, and Tito Jackson being part of a “Dream Come True” – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

Starr and Tracee agreed this was an unforgettable and emotional weekend spent with the Jacksons. To know the Jackson Doll Productions will continue with their mission, is very uplifting.

Marlon Jackson, Jackie Jackson, Tracee Hayes, and Tito Jackson sharing a happy moment after an amazing concert – Photo Courtesy of Tracee Hayes

Starr as the President/Executive Director of JDP, and being with the Jacksons family since August 1971 says, “As I look back at my journey, tears begin to fall because I’m so grateful and thankful to God. I realize I am the only original member still living and I’m thankful for my other Jackson Doll members, Terri Price, Tracee Hayes, Renee Sudderth and especially Silva Howard for still believing in me as well as my brother Junior, sister Kim for your support and for other members who helped me build my dream and the Jacksons’ Management who are amazing.

I thank the entire Jackson family, Poppa Jackson, Momma Jackson, Reebie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Latoya, Marlon, Randy, Janet Jackson and their next generation for this amazing journey. Most of all, I thank my baby Michael, who I love and misses very much. I look forward to doing more activities for Jackson Doll Productions with projects servicing children, the elderly, the homeless and much more.”

Marlon Jackson, Jackie Jackson, Starr Hayes, Tito Jackson enjoying this moment – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth
The Jacksons always giving us their best!!! – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

An Outpouting of Love From Detroit

Starr Hayes-Shining Bright

The Legendary Jacksons Concert And Interview-A Dream Come True

23 Comments

  1. Renee, you are such a great journalist, and your desire to meet the Jackson’s has come true! The article is extraordinary, I enjoyed reading it and to see you becoming one of the Jackson Dolls is something that so many probably have wished for! Continue to be strong, and continue to write articles that means so much to your readers! Love ya

  2. Well written story by my long-time best friend, excellent Splash magazine writer, the dynamic duo (Jackson 2) partner and now the newest Jackson Doll member. I’m so happy for you making your dreams come true!!! Congrats Renee! Much love to the Jackson’s who always give their fans the best moments in life. Thank you Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon.

    A forever fan,
    Jeanine, Ms. Jackson if you’re N****

  3. CAROLINE TATE – Sept 25, 2018 – Via EMAIL – I must say it is amazing to see the Jacksons so enthusiastic on stage after all the years. They look phenomenal. It is such a blessing to see a family continue to keep up with the time and give their fans what they want. I am proud to hear the next Jackson Generation X are stepping up to continue the music dynasty of the Jacksons. It was great to hear Jackie and Tito are working with their sons and other artists to produce music. This article was a refreshing light about the Jacksons. Thanks for keeping them on the map. Great work!!

  4. CAROLINE TATE – Sept 25, 2018 – Via EMAIL –It is so amazing to see the history and dedication you have built with the Jackson’s articles. Each article grows with proud and love for the family you grew up with enjoying their life and their music. The second article allowed people to see the behind scenes. It made you feel the love and respect you have for the Jackson family. You were blessed to meet the most important family you desired to see. I thank God he allowed you to meet the Jackson family.

  5. D. DOUGLAS – Sept 23, 2018 – Via EMAIL – This is a great article. You look strikingly beautiful in those photos! Keep up the good work.

  6. TOMMIE HARRIS-NASH – Sept 24, 2018 – Via EMAIL – Good luck on everything–only God knows how it will end with you writing this Jacksons Summer Series.

  7. JANET CRAWFORD IBANEZ- Sept 25, 2018 – Via EMAIL – As always, you did an excellent job reporting on a very passionate subject to you! I’m so happy that you were able to enjoy a moment in time that few have/can/will experience! I don’t know much about the Jackson’s Dolls, but thanks for introducing them to us and congrats on becoming one of them. May Jehovah God continue to help you in your quest in bringing wholesome reading to the public. ❤️I love you, my J5 friend from back-in-the-day!!!

  8. Congrats Renee, what an awesome opportunity for you to to experience this event and then being able to interview and write about it. You go girl!

  9. T. SUDDERTH – Sept 25, 2018 – I kind of got teary eyed because you made your dream come true. You have always loved the Jacksons.

  10. ELOISE FELTON – Sept 25, 2018 – Via FACEBOOK – Renee and Jackson Dolls, nice pictures. Wish I could have been there!

  11. CATHERINE BURROWS – Sept 28, 2018 – Via EMAIL – I AM SO PROUD OF YOU. I LOVE HOW YOU ALWAYS PUT GOD 1ST IN YOUR LISTS OF THANKS. What a GREAT and AMAZING adventure. I will definitely be listening to some of the Jacksons’ music and lyrics. Thank you for your dedication, your sense of adventure, and thank you for pushing pass the opportunity to head back to the locker room. I am SO grateful that God gave you the courage to stay on the court. Great things happen to those who allow their hearts to be filled with perseverance. May God continue to bless you and your service rendered to our culture, heritage, and those who give unselfishly to encourage and bring good times and joy to others.

    And what a BEAUTIFUL gesture for Starr to think so lovingly as to give each brother a photo of them with their father…how profound. I love you and I love the kind of people you are surrounding yourself with and writing about.

  12. CORLA GUDE – Oct 4, 2018 – Via VOICE MESSAGE – Renee, I read all your four articles, the Detroit concert, Starr, interviewing the Jacksons, and your experiences with the Jacksons and Jacksons Dolls. I got chill bumps thinking of the excitement you felt. It was so exciting and you wrote the articles like I was right there experiencing it with you. It took me back to my great fun childhood when that’s all our neighborhood would talk about was the Jacksons 5 and those Right On Magazines. I have always loved them and I know this is the closest I will get to them. Thank you for putting so much work into what you do and sharing the Jacksons!!!

  13. Renee, I am happy that your dream finally came true! You interviewed the greatest entertainers of all time. We grew up listening to the Jacksons, reading articles about the Jacksons, and sharing our numerous concert stories about the Jacksons. I enjoyed your articles on the Jacksons. You are a great writer. I liked how you included your friend Elston in the article. The content of your articles flowed well. Thumbs up!

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