Janet Jackson Essay, Research Paper
Janet Jackson was born in Gary Indiana on May 16, 1966. She is a member of the
Jackson Family musical dynasty.
Her most famous family members include Jermaine, Stephen, Jackie, Tito, Marlon,and Michael whom were all part of the musical group the Jackson 5. The most famous of the brothers is Michael whom helped Janet begin her musical career. Like many of the women in show business today, Janet has been faced with many obstacles in her life. Despite all of the problems, Janet has overcome most of them and has become one of the biggest successes in the entertainment world today.
During Janet?s young years she was forced to deal with difficult conditions at home. She recalls in an interview with Steve Pond in the December 1997 issue of ?US magazine, "My father whipped me one time when I was a kid. But there was no rape or crap like that. You can begin to see how you feel less-than, not worthy, fraudulent. And that?s how I grew up feeling."(2) Despite problems with other family members Janet was always close with her mother. She said in the same interview with Steve Pond, "Mother always could feel when I wasn?t doing well, and she was incredible supportive." In Janet?s
life, as well as in the lives of the other Jackson?s, there seemed to be so much pressure for success, but they all seemed to lack self-esteem.
By the time she was twenty-one, Janet was breaking away from the shyness she once possessed, and stopped living in the shadows of Michael and the other Jackson family members. She produced Rhythm Nation in black and white and made this statement, "I would hope that everyone will understand that once black represents something good. That?s why we were all dressed in black?Black is so beautiful to me."(3) Janet decided to set a new agenda whenever she produced the Virgin Records album, titled janet. She had a reason for naming her album janet. She describes her reason in an interview by Steve Pond. She said, "I prefer ?Janet.? It was always my dream for no one to know that I was a Jackson. I wanted them to accept me for me and to not know anything more than that. I wanted to take my last name off the very first album I ever
did."(4) When she named her album "janet" she was taking her steps in breaking away from the Jackson name she had always wanted to avoid.
Janet had countless problems in her childhood that led to her adulthood bout of severe depression. Neither Janet or boyfriend of eleven years, Rene Elizondo, are reluctant to talk about her depression. “I think the record deal brought a lot of [the depression] on,” says Rene. “She hit the pinnacle, but it made her look at herself and say, ‘Why aren’t I happy?’ At a stage in her career where most artists would find new and more expensive
ways to keep from giong inward, she looked deeper into herself than she ever had before.” Regarding her depression and the way she feels about it Janet says, “With a lot of hard work. A lot of digging into my past and all those things that I always to managed to push aside I tried to get rid of them [the depressed feelings] Because that’s how I dealt with it: Everything that hurt me I’d laugh about, and keep going. But after a while, that just didn’t
work anymore.” Janet is proud that she has overcome most of the problems and is positive about the future. She states, "It?s been a really difficult road and there are more obstacles?but I refuse to let it get the best of me." (6)
Janet Jackson is thirty-one now and has released a new album The Velvet Rope. This album accompanies her new look: "Flames of abundant red hair and a move to clothes that are sexy, but with an edge. ?She?s very aware of what the trends are,? says stylist Darryle Johnson, who met Jackson during the filming of Joh Singleton?s 1993 movie, Poetic Justice. ?Now she?s having a moment where she?s pierced everything [nose, navel, tongue, and nipple]. She might do something weird, but you live her anyway. She?s like your little sister.?"(7)
Janet Jackson has a long list of achievements some of which include 21 Top 10 hits, four Grammy?s, and in 1996 she signed an $80 million record deal with Virgin Records, making her the music industries highest paid performer. (8)