MJ Publicist Dies

Bob Jones, 72, a longtime publicist for Motown Records who played a prominent role in crafting Michael Jackson’s public persona, died from an apparent heart attack Sept. 20.

Jones was a spokesman for artists like Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and Lionel Richie during his 17 years at Motown.

He was closely associated with Jackson from 1987 to 2004, eventually writing a tell-all book, “The Man Behind The Mask,” after being fired via letter.

Jones dubbed Jackson the “king of pop, rock and soul,” which Jackson shortened to “king of pop,” Jones told the Irish Times. Initial reports of a hyperbaric chamber and chimpanzee named Bubbles were leaked by Jones to give Jackson an aura of mystery, he told the Los Angeles Times.

Jones was also entertainment editor for Los Angeles paper Herald Dispatch for a decade. A friendship with Bobby Darin led to Jones getting hired as a publicist for Rogers & Cowan in 1968, according to the Times.