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Bob Jones, Former Publicist To Michael Jackson, Dies At 72

LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Bob Jones, the longtime publicist for Michael Jackson has died at the age of 72.

Jones served as Jackson's publicist from 1987 to 2004, working with the performer through some of the most tumultuous periods of his career and often carefully orchestrated leaks to the press about Jackson's erratic behavior in order to cultivate a sense of mystery about the performer.

In 2005, after being fired by Jackson, Jones co-wrote an unauthorized biography, "Michael Jackson: The man behind the mask" of the singer with journalist Stacy Brown that proved to be quite critical. Jones subsequently claimed that he had avoided including a "treasure trove" of potentially shocking details about the singer's life, the Los Angeles Times reported. The book depicted Jackson as lip-syncing during live performances and feigning illness in order to avoid gigs.

Jones also appeared on the stand during Jackson's 2005 child molestation trial, providing testimony in support of the singer. Jackson was subsequently acquitted on all charges.

Before working with Jackson, Jones had spent seventeen years as a Motown Records publicist, working with a number of the label's high profile artists including Diana Ross and Stevie Wonder.

"Publicity was king in those days, and Bob was able to deliver that," Miller London, a former Motown executive told the L.A. Times "He was basically a staff of one, and it was a huge task."

In addition to his sister, Jones is survived by a brother, Jamel Sharrieff.