Pull back the curtain. Janet Jackson is known to be silent about her private life, but her new documentary allows her to address long-standing misconceptions about her family and her career.
The Grammy Award winner, 55, began filming the two-part Lifetime series in 2017 when she invited a production team to record her State of the World tour. They have been with her for five years.
The documentary’s first season premiered on Friday, January 28, and includes interviews with her mother, Katherine Jackson, her brothers Tito and Randy Jackson and sister Rebbie Jackson, as well as collaborators Debbie Allen, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Missy Elliott. and Paola Abdul. As a child in the family, the “Black Cat” singer was a child when her siblings became known as the Jackson Five. She first performed on stage in 1974 at age 7 as part of her family’s Las Vegas show. “I never remember being asked,” says the Indiana native in Janet Jackson. “I just remember being put in.”
Over the years, Jackson’s other siblings have talked about how their father, Joe Jackson, motivated them to attend the shows, and some of them have claimed that her methods include abuse. In 1991, La Toya Jackson testified that Joe, who died in 2018 at the age of 89, sexually abused her and her sisters when they were children. (The Jackson family denied the allegation at the time.) For his part, Michael Jackson once said that “just a glance” from his father can make him scared. “When he comes to see me, I’ll get sick,” said the late “Bad” singer born in 1992. “I’ll start a relapse.” Joe later responded by telling the BBC: “Let’s go back to the bank.”
Janet doesn’t address the abuse allegations in the first part of the film, but she does emphasize Joe’s strong focus on children’s careers. “I remember stories about my mom letting my siblings and I play outside, and then they saw my dad’s car going down the street, they ran into the house, took the instruments and started playing like they were practicing.
everything back.” said, adding that they would shout: “Joseph is coming, Joseph is coming!” The “All for You” singer went on to say that her parents had “disciplined” all of their children but said they always pursued him with love. “Discipline without love is tyranny. And tyrants aren’t, “he explained.” They just love us and want us to be the best they can be. Apparently, it worked.
After the Jackson Five fired his father as manager, Joe began focusing on the Janets solo career. “Growing up, I felt like I didn’t really experience my dad the way I wanted,” he explains. “The way I’ve seen other children go by with their fathers.” The Jackson family patriarch spearheaded the creation of Janets’ first two albums and helped land her a role on Good Times, but the author of True You doesn’t think that really reflects that. She is an artist. Her father chose the cover art for her 1984 album, Dream Street, against her will, and pushed her to join the cast of Fame that same year.
“I did it for my father,” she said of her involvement with the show. Janet decided to fire her father before recording Control in ’86, which made her a real pop star. “It was hard to say no to my father, so in order to do the things I wanted to do, I guess he should be out of the picture,” he says in the film.
“I knew I had to take control of my life. I want my identity. I want to go alone. ” As a child, the “If” singer went with her family to Las Vegas as they went to see her siblings’ show. Although she has met celebrities and seen her siblings perform, she still longs for a slightly more idyllic life. “None of us had normal childhoods,” she explains.
“My friends, they went to gym class. They are part of the Girl Scouts or the Brownies. And I want to do those things. But we have to go to work. ” Janets’ father found out how well she could sing after she registered at home and accidentally left the recording in the family studio. When her father listened to her tape, he decided that she should pursue a career in music.
“I wanted to go to college and study business law,” she recalls. “And he said, it won’t happen, it won’t happen, basically. What parent doesn’t want you to go to college? But he said: No, you will sing. Not long after, I had it. A meeting at A&M and he signed his record. of the contract. “