Janet Jackson’s ’embarrassing’ solo studio session launched her career

January 11, 2022
Janet Jackson says her start in music started with an embarrassing moment at home in the February 2022 cover story for Allure.
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Janet Jackson says she didn’t have much “Control” over her “embarrassing” music debut.

The 55-year-old performer eventually grabbed the reins of her career back which has become much of the story of her impactful music career. However, in an interview for the February cover of  Allure, the “Rhythm Nation” singer said she had humble and “embarrassing” beginnings.

Jackson appears on the cover of wearing a beige Rick Owens outfit consisting of a puffer coat, T-shirt and dress; a headband designed by Archived Prototype and a Pebble London necklace. Her hair is coiffed in a high box braid ponytail which covers up the “U” in the fashion magazine’s title. 

According to the singer, she had aspirations of being an entertainment lawyer, with no desire to enter the family business of music. Jackson said her family home had a studio to allow her brothers’ band The Jackson 5 to record ideas at any time. One day while playing with a music idea in her head she recorded a song before school and forgot to scrap the tape before anyone else heard it. 

“I left the tape on the machine and when I came home from school I was so embarrassed,” Jackson says. “They were listening to the song … my father, some of my brothers.”

After hearing the creation her father Joe Jackson, who managed the family’s music career with an iron will, told Jackson she should “be a performer.” 

Jackson said she instantly rejected her dad’s suggestion: “I said, ‘No, no, no, no, no! You don’t understand. I want to go to school. I want to go to college and study business law and support myself by acting.’ ” 

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Despite her ambitions to work in the business from the courtroom, she went on to become a Grammy-winning singer with 11 studio albums including chart-topping “Control” which spent 91 weeks on the Billboard top R&B and hip-hop album chart. 

“That’s how it all started,” Jackson said. 

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The musician is preparing to gain more “Control” over her narrative ahead of the release of Lifetime and A&E’s two-part documentary “Janet” which she sits in as an executive producer. The program will air on Jan. 28 ahead of the 40th anniversary of her debut self-titled album. 

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