Janet Jackson Reveals What People Still Get Wrong About Her

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Janet Jackson has been in the public eye since she was just a child, and nearly five decades later, she still feels there are things about her that are misrepresented. The 56-year-old singer opens up in a new interview with Essencerevealing what people still get wrong about her to this day.

"When it comes to my personal life, I think mistaking my kindness for weakness," she tells the magazine. "When it comes to my professional life, I would say it would have to be not liking to hear the word 'no.'"

"Especially being a woman, and someone telling you, 'No, you can’t because…'", she adds.

Janet Jackson Essence
Yu Tsai/Essence

For Jackson, her career isn't about flashing her success, despite being a five-time GRAMMY winner. "I’ve never been that person to have my awards on display," she says. "There’s nothing wrong with it, that’s just not me."

"Being able to wake up and see my baby another day," she explains of her 5-year-old son, Eissa. "The space I might be in at that moment within my soul. What I’ve accomplished within myself. How far I’ve come from that child there to the woman that I am today. That’s success. If you came to my home, you would never know—if you did not know who I was— that I am an entertainer. I don’t have one award on my wall."

Just like she's not focused on the awards, Jackson says getting her "due as an innovator of R&B" is something that has "never" crossed her mind.

"I’ve heard fans tell me we haven’t. Other artists have said the same thing. That never crossed my mind," she says. "That’s not important to me, whether I did or didn’t, to be quite honest. It’s really the body of music touching people and how it impacts their lives that matters to me. It’s not the accolades. I honestly don’t think about that stuff."

The focus Jackson has on creating music that touches people will continue into her next body of work, but she doesn't have a timeline for when she'll get back into the recording studio.

"Sometimes things happen that you don’t expect to happen, and you have to figure things out -- or you’re in a space in your life when you have to take a step back and take a break for a minute," she admits. "Even though it’s something that I absolutely love, it still is my work, my job. There will be music at some point. Exactly when? I can’t say just yet, but there will be."

"I love it too much not to do it," she adds before saying that her "number one job is being a mama."

Despite not putting out new music in the first half of 2022, Jackson has still been in the spotlight, most recently for her authorized documentary on Lifetime and A&E which debuted earlier this year.

The two-part, four-hour event showcased unseen home videos, archival footage and unfiltered moments with Jackson, and had guest appearances from superstars Mariah Carey, Missy Elliott, Tyler Perry, Whoopi Goldberg, Regina King, Samuel L. Jackson and Ciara.

Jackson is set to headline the Essence Festival of Culture July 4th weekend in New Orleans.

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