In an interview on NBC's "Today" show, a grieving Jermaine Jackson said he wished he had died instead of his brother.
Jackson, a practicing Muslim, said his younger brother Michael was a "gift from Allah." Michael reportedly converted from Jehovah's Witness to the Muslim faith a few years ago.
"He went too soon," said Jackson, 54. "I don't know how people are going to take this, but I wish it was me."
When asked why he felt that way, Jermaine Jackson said he always felt that he was Michael's "backbone."
"Someone to be there for him. I was there and he was sort of like Moses. Things he couldn't say, I would say them. During the trials, during everything ..."
Jermaine Jackson said that when he rushed to UCLA Medical Center last Thursday, where the 50-year-old pop singer was pronounced dead, "I wanted to see Michael, and I wanted to see my brother, and seeing him there lifeless and breathless was very emotional for me, but I held myself together because I know he's very much alive."
"His spirit is, and that was just a shell, but I kissed him on his forehead and I hugged him, and I touched him and I said, `Michael, I'll never leave you. You'll never leave me.'" READ MORE...
Jermaine also said he would like to see Neverland Ranch as Michael's final resting place. A public memorial service was planned for July 3 on the estate in the rolling hills of Santa Barbara, CA. But the billionaire who co-owned the property with Jackson wasn't able to get a permit in time.