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The Fall of Janet Jackson

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Even though I am embarrassed to admit it, Janet Jackson was one of my teen idols. I’ll never forget seeing the video for “What Have You Done For Me Lately” in March of 1986, when I was an impressionable teenager with raging hormones. I knew she was Michael’s little sister, but she just came across as incredibly unique.

Even though Janet was overweight, she was beautiful. She didn’t have to try to be sexy like she does now; she was sexy. My friends, who were into Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, etc. told me she would be a one hit wonder. Unfortunately, for them, Control became the first album by a female artist to ever launch five top 5 singles on Billboard’s then relevant Hot 100: “What Have You Done For Me Lately;” “Nasty;” “Control;” “When I Think of You;” and my favorite from the Control album, “Lets Wait Awhile.”

Janet took a two-year break from the music scene after her breakthrough success, which was not a bad idea given some of the music that came out in 1988 and 1989. By fall of that year, however, she came screaming back with Rhythm Nation, which, till this day, remains one of the best albums ever made. Janet’s songs about racial harmony, children’s issues, and the “State of The World” were well written, sung with passion, and were on the lips of almost every music loving American. The album turned her from Michael’s little sister into her own superstar.

The concert tour that supported this Grammy winning album was one of the most sought-after tickets of 1990. I attended her show at Poplar Creek in Chicago and along with 20,000 other people, danced, sang, and was blown away by Janet’s amazing performance. There was some controversy about her lip syncing, but nobody really seemed to mind. Lets be honest: Janet is more of a performer than singer, and there is nothing wrong with that.

However, there was one vocal performance that night which really stood out: “Come Back To Me.” It was obvious Janet wasn’t lip synching; she was singing from the heart. Even though my knowledge of music was very limited then, I realized that it is more important to touch people with your voice rather than act like a human dog whistle, something the just emerging Mariah Carey was very good at then.

Soon, it was Strike One for Janet: she lost weight. She had never looked so beautiful. I still remember my roommates and me at Northern Illinois University drooling over the “Love Will Never Do Without You” video. Commercially, she hit a gold mine. Artistically, however, her weight loss forced people to concentrate more on her looks than her music. With the exception of The Velvet Rope, which came out in 1997, it forced Janet to concentrate on her looks more than her music as well.

However, when 1993 came around, Janet took full advantage of the downfall of pop music’s biggest icon, Madonna (who would make a comeback, and several others in the years to come). Madonna was the world’s greatest sexpot, but, unfortunately, didn’t know where to stop and soon started appearing naked everywhere. The world soon looked for another sexpot that was similar to Madonna and Janet eagerly stepped in with her Janet album, featuring screaming orgasms, ejaculations, one night stands, etc.

The public ate it up like apple pie and Janet was the biggest superstar on the planet. She was considered the “only cool” Jackson. Despite her sexually charged image, most people considered it a sign of Janet becoming a true adult and she was on every hot list that can be imagined. No wonder she was able to take a two-year break without being forgotten.

The Velvet Rope could have easily been Strike Two for Janet. “Got Till It’s Gone,” the first single, hit the airwaves in August of 1997 and disappeared almost instantly. The response was so poor that Virgin Records decided not to release a physical single for the song, hoping everybody would forget about this minor career mistake and move on.

“Together Again,” the follow-up single, saved Janet from further backlash and proved that Janet Jackson was anything but "over with." Janet’s dedication to the friends she lost because of AIDS proved to be anything but the usual sappy, repetitive songs that Elton John, George Michael, and others put out in previous years. In fact, the song was a celebration: “One day we’ll be together again. 'Cause… every where I go, every smile I see, I know you are there, smiling back at me.”

Even though there was a slight backlash because of Janet’s increasingly sexual image (her act now included lesbianism, sadomasochism, and more), the music overshadowed it all. Even though the album didn’t sell nearly as much as Janet’s previous albums, it was still considered an artistic highlight and spawned three top ten singles, something which was rare for an album released during the latter part of the '90s.

As the new decade rolled in, Janet’s superstardom still seemed unbreakable. In the Summer of 2000, Janet costarred along with Eddie Murphy in Nutty Professor 2: The Clumps and scored a number one hit from the soundtrack. By the end of the year, fans were looking forward to a new album.

The year 2001 was strike two for Janet. Even though her new album, All For You, and its title track hit number one, fans and critics started to wonder if Janet was starting to "lose" it. Many considered the album's sexual theme repetitive while others found songs such as "When We Ooooo" and "Son of a Gun" lacking the same quality of Janet's previous hits. For the first time in Janet's career, her concerts showed mixed box office results. However, All For You still sold 3 million copies in the U.S. and that was an accomplishment for someone who had been recording albums for nearly twenty years.

February 1, 2004: Strike Three! Actually, this is considered the "9/11" of Janet's career and freedom of speech on television as well. During the Super Bowl Halftime Show, Janet decided to shock the world by having Justin Timberlake violently rip off a piece of clothing covering her right breast, exposing it sagging with a nipple ring. An international uproar ensued and Janet instantly became the most scorned person on the planet.

Rather than living up to her stunt, Janet soon issued a pathetic apology, said it was an "accident," and thus the term "wardrobe malfunction" was added to our never-ending vocabulary. Besides the devastating effects this had on her upcoming Damita Jo album, the planned publicity stunt was the beginning of censorship that was considered new wave McCarthyism. Janet tried to calm the fires by blaming the uproar on George W. Bush, racism and everything else, but made matters even worse for her and alienated several fans.

In 2006, after seeing previously fallen stars Mariah Carey and Madonna make major comebacks, it seemed natural that Janet would follow their footsteps. While the "wardrobe malfunction" was still in people's minds, Janet thought she would cover it up by gaining over 100 pounds, losing it, and then appearing as the new weight loss queen on the cover of US Weekly. This might have worked if Janet had followed it up with some good music.

The song "Call on Me," the first single from 20 Years Old, bombed so badly that even MTV refused to play it. "So Excited," the second single, bombed even worse. After appearing on Oprah, Janet's 20 Years Old was expected to sell at least 350,000 copies in its first week. Unfortunately, the album didn't even sell 300,000 copies and instantly declined on the charts.

Has the door permanently closed for Janet Jackson? According to many, it has. However, the fact that the world loves comebacks as much as they love superstar downfalls could eventually open a new door for Janet. Just ask Cher, Mariah Carey, Tina Turner, and others who carefully crafted major comebacks simply by reminding the world why they became superstars in the first place.

I'm sure that Janet has finally realized that appearing half naked on different magazines isn't working anymore. She needs to fire her publicist and manager. She needs to disassociate herself with that musically utalented midget, Jermain Dupri. Then, after taking some time off, she needs to find producers who will help her craft the thoughtful, catchy tunes that made her a superstar in the first place. When this happens, we will all forgive Janet for the Dorito Ho era.

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About Daryl D

  • Neil Sheppard

    Reasonable review. You are forgetting though that even if she planned the nipple flash, the reaction remains unprecedented- almost total ban from radio and TV- this is what caused her albums to bomb (along with artistic bad choices due to Jermaine Dupris’ influence). Also you are dead wrong on ‘Got ’til it’s Gone’ – the video won a Grammy and the single was released internationally performing very well on the charts. It met critical acclaim with reviews impressed by her boldness in choosing the track as a lead single. If you visit Sound Cloud you will see it is one of her most remixed and reinterpreted singles ever (along with Throb and If). It has also inspired many other pop artists including Kelly Rowland and Britney Spears

  • PJ

    If Jane thadn’t been a Jackson she would have never had a recording career. If she wants to come back she must ask Rene Elizondo her ex husband responsible for the albums from Rhythm nation to Velvet rope to comeback to. Once they parted ways she started making horrible albums.

  • Joe China

    Janet Jackson is talented, no doubt. However, unlike Madonna and Mariah Carey with truly distinctive talents- Madonna being the slut who sold her soul for fame and Carey being the giant of a voice but midget of a talent- Jackson relied heavily on her image- a slice of apple pie washed down with a tall glass of kool-aid. Jackson sexed, oversexed, hypersexed, and nipplesexed. Sorry but the crowd has lost patience and moved on.



  • shampoo

    let’s face it. every female artist above 40 years old is not selling how they used to so to so to insinuate that janet’s career is down the toilet is just hate.

    granted, janet’s past 3 albums didn’t sell as much as the predecessors they still shifted a respectable amount of albums. Damita Jo with all the backlash sold 1M copies in the US and about 3M WW. Just a little while was a UK top 20 hit and hit #1 for 5 weeks in Japan’s Tokyo Hot 100. It was also the 2nd biggest airplay hit in Japan in 2004.

    20YO had call on me which is janet’s 16th R&B #1 hit. It sold close to 700K but shifted 1M for a platinum certification in the US. It also hit gold in Japan and sold 1.3M copies to date. Discipline became her 6th #1 album, sold enough for a Gold certification in the US and also went Gold in japan. It had feedback which sold 800,000 digital copies in the US and hit #19 in the hot 100.

    Not bad for a woman with 25+ years in the business. I wonder where gaga, rihanna, beyonce, etc will be after 25 years?

  • JC Mosquito

    Hi Daryl – ummm…. just saying hello, and I don’t know much about JJ but I did actually like much of Rhythm Nation, esp. the title track. And she did have Cab Calloway in a video, didn’t she, so that’s kinda cool too.

    Anyway, best of luck w/the fallout – Skeeter.

  • LUk

    First of all…

    Let’s review the facts

    Point One
    Janet’s first two alubms – did NOT sell well
    First Album – Janet Jackson 700,000 and Dream Street 400,000 then she came out with Control

    What she proved here is that even after two albums which didn’t perform well as a young, unexperienced singer/performer she still could produce an album like Control

    Point Two
    In early years Janet talked about being hurt, sexuality, broken heart, sex, hate, experiences, lock of tolerance in this country etc. She talked about it in a very passionate and emtional way.

    We all could relate to this, we all wanted to talk about it but Janet actually did

    Point Three
    We really can’t compare Janet to Madonna
    Madonna mostly sang about sexual experiences and crafted her career based on shock value and being ahead, she also controled her public image, good or bad, we knew what was going on with Madonna…

    Janet on the other hand would put a great album out and take time off, we didn’t read about her, we didn’t hear about her because she is a very private person. Audiance indetified with Janet because of the subjects and topics she has discussed in her albums. We could related and we loved her for that, and of course her sexy image and angel like voice. And let’s not forget about fantastic dance moves.

    Point Four
    As cliche as this may sound, most of the time we all relate to being unhappy, having problems, being hurt in love or in life and that’s what Janet used to sing about.

    She has stated that she has been happiest since with JD. So her last two albums, Damita Jo and 20 Y.O were a bit different from previous albums. Both Albums were good, but didn’t intrigue,ingage, or force to think with what was epxressed on them through words. So we as a public kind of dismissed it…

    I have both albums, but to be very honest, were they as good as previous albums, not really.

    Of course the Super Bowl Fiasco etc added to it.
    And MTV etc didn’t want to play Janet’s videos etc.

    Further since Janet would change her image or be ahead of competition or what expected, she would tastefully change her image or talk about different issues on her albums and both Damita Jo and 20 Y.O. didn’t keep this trend going…

    However as with first two albums that Janet recorded, which were unsuccessful, she was able to turn around and come out with Control!

    So before anyone writes Janet off, think twice. She is a season entertainer and “Discipline” will be a prove that she will have everyone’s attention yet again.

    Furhter more… Madonna fans, Janet fans, Mariah fans, Cher Fans, even Barbra Straisand fans.. can we just enjoy our favorite stars and not talk S**T about who’s better and who is worst. They all are so unique and different and most have been around for a long time…

    And please stop comparing Janet to Madonna for simple reasons

    Records sold – Madonna wins
    Beauty – Janet wins
    Moves – Janet wins
    Business – Madonna wins
    Control of Bad Publicity – Madonna wins
    Being able to take time off and not being in public’s eye – Janet wins
    Sexappeal – Janet wins
    Acting Skills – Janet wins

    They are so freaken different…

  • Vince

    Got till it’s Gone wasn’t a hit in America…because we were to fascinated by horrible pop music…but it did very well in several overseas markets where good music still sells. Why?..because it was/is probably one of her best releases ever. The song and video are beautiful and very unique. It showcased Janet’s real talent, and ability to try something different. That’s where she “lost it” as she nows seems focused on doing what the young folks are doing. Velvet Rope was a critical success because much of the music sounded like nothing else on radio and had darker sound and feel. Janet’s needs to continue to make art like the Velvet Rope and be less concerned with trying to pull in the kids.

  • chris r

    This is really amazing how people can just murder someone so talented as Miss Janet J, that set trends for all that you see on todays pop/r&b and some, Janet will make a come back and every will regret that they ever put her down. i wish her nothing but the best…………Good Janet………


    Just want to remark that ‘history’ should never be forgotten no matter how convenient it is for those who choose to do so. The world is not black or white, and has never been no will ever be, but instead various shades of gray. Janet Jackson achieved many, many wonderful acalades throughout and provoked people to think which I gladly applaud. However, after her signing with Virgin, her material became quite racy with regard to sexual freedoms despite the rise in STD’s and the like which I could understand to a point at the time although I didn’t want my children to listen to most tracks on the album titled ‘janet’ (if, you want this, anytime any place, etc. Then ‘The Velvet Rope’ surfaced and I appreciated the intent for this album much more than the previous, which most know was followed by ‘All For You’ that caused me greater concerns with regard to the ‘baby-making songs.’ This unexpected turn whereby she announced her desire for a man’s juices to penetrate her body and such portrayed a perception among most of the youth and youthful adults that raw is best when it is not. Even Diane Sawyer questioned the lyrics on this particular album only to receive answers that would concern any parent trying to protect their children from promiscuity. Shortly after this interview, LaToya made mention that Janet was intending to go to even further sexual heights while believing or wanting to believe it would be appreciated by fans. Then the Super Bowl mishap occurred on national television, and I don’t care if it had been Cher herself baring breasts on such a highly viewed program. The bottom line is she went too far albeit unintentionally. People tend to forget that celebrities often form the behavior for those who perceive them as role models. Janet almost lost entirely me with the Super Bowl mishap, but not because she tried to play it off, but because she had been warning us all that more was to come. When ‘Damita Jo’ released, I couldn’t bring myself to purchasing the album because I was afraid of what I’d find on the album’s tracks. However, I did want the album and was given the album as a gift. Now what do you think I found on that album? All kind of crazy is what I found especially encompassing oral sex…now, I don’t want to pay for lyrical porn and I don’t want to have to worry about sensoring my stero when sensoring televised programs is hard enough. Janet lost me with Damita Jo because I don’t care about who enters her back door or that she knows how and will do all the work if someone will just pull the car over, etc. My point is that Janet’s fall was not the result of an isolated event, but instead a build up that burst into a million pieces before millions. Sadly, she refused to be held accountable for all of these actions and instead blamed it on racism, which only proved that the race card will be played as a trump card regardless of wrong doing despite it clearly communicates the wrong message to today’s youth: ‘If it works for one, it must work for all’ And still certain folks and Janet want to turn this tragedy into a race issue when it’s not warranted whatsover. The fact of the matter is this woman’s been taking her clothes off for years while doing things on stage that she knew would turn heads. Obviously, she never considered it would eventually result in deafened ears. Personally, I wish Janet all the best, and I wish her no ill will, but I can’t support any artist who encourages promiscuity of any type, regardless of color, no more than I can or do support a president whose done nothing more than take care of daddy’s old business. Anyone who claims Janet’s demise is about race is a racist themselves through and through, and since I don’t promote or support racism – I don’t support anyone who does. Someone referenced that Madonna fell due to nudity, so why didn’t Janet heed the warning or did it simply not apply at the time? Janet Jackson has no one to blame but herself. She can’t blame Jermaine D. or Jimmy Jam or Terry Lewis or Virgin Records because every one of them allowed her and extended her creative freedom; and often with creative freedom comes creative destruction. All my best to you, Janet.

  • Lauren


    I was a fan of Janet’s, before CONTROL. I remember her virginal tunes like: YOUNG LOVE and SAY YOU DO, in her A&M days. Nevertheless, I UNDERSTAND and SYMPATHIZE with your disappointment of the iconic star.

    I recall when she broke away from the coat tails of her older brothers and carved out her own identity among the Jacksons. When the CONTROL album was released, I was so PROFOUNDLY proud of Janet’s emerging independence, power and integrity, while maintaining her modesty as a woman.

    Remember, LET’S WAIT AWHILE and her fiesty rejection of NASTY BOYS? In my opinion, that’s what made her SEXY, and set her apart from just another pretty faced ‘party favor’ for public consumption!

    RHYTHM NATION, gave us a poignant glimpse of her mind regarding the pressures of young America. She was a modern day ‘lyrical soldier’ challenging prejudice and gang violence while encouraging the pursuit of an education. Not to mention, she did that with fierce dancing percision and serious ‘get out your seat’ beats.

    She also demonstrated a musical versatility and agility to flip the mood and take us on a playful ESCAPADE or daring BLACK CAT prowl! That’s what made her core fans fall in love, believe in and loyally support her for 20 years. It also explains why witnessing her celebrity being reduced to breast flashing fiascos, wardrobe malfunction or not, and lyrical porn HURTS! She had more sobering and substantive things to share with her fans at 20, than she seemingly does at age 40!

    I realize that my words may sound harsh, but I share them in genuine love. Ms. Jackson is not just select body parts to be lustfully admired, lyrically massaged and commericially marketed. She is a whole person, and many of us miss hearing and seeing that in her music.

    P.S. Janet, your TRUE fans are still here and MISS U MUCH! When your ready…COME BACK TO US! We still believe you’re worth the wait!

  • Dave Murphy

    The album didnt go platinum. It shipped onemillion copies but bowed out of the billboard 200 with just under 700 thousand copies sold.#

    It didnt go top 40 in a single country in Europe or Australia and new Zealand. According to global album chart it has sold 750k worldwide. Mariah Carey’s Glitter soldmore than Janet’slast to albums combined on a international level.

    Jermaine Dupri produced Mariah Carey’s The Emancipation Of Mimi which sold 10 million copies worldwide.I dont think his talent is in question.

  • bobby

    Your article couldn’t be more accurate!!! Janet needs a slap in the face. I DO think the Superbowl incident wasn’t intended to go as far as it did, but I don’t think that is why “Damita Jo” sold so poorly. If you listened to that album, you’d recognize that it was really boring and lacked substance or hooks. “20 Y.O.” is just “Damita Jo Pt. 2”. “Call on Me” was a flop and the only reason it reached number 1 on the Hip-Hop/R&B charts is because initial sales were high and as soon as people heard the song–they didn’t care for it. It was incredibly boring and went nowhere and couldn’t manage to gain any airplay on radio. The follow-up singles were worse (“So Excited” peaked at 34 on the Hip-Hop/R&B charts and “With U” at 65). “20 Y.O.” was certified platinum, but it flopped only managing to sell 630,000 copies….which means there are 400K copies out there waiting to be sold. She needs intervention, she has a one-track mind focused solely on sex and its effects on her music have been catastrophic. She should drop Jermaine and work with someone who can help her get out of this rut that she has been in since the turn of the millennium. Of course, even though Madonna is still popular, she doesn’t appeal much to youth culture anymore. Janet should be less concerned about her image and whether or not she’ll be relevant to high school students and be more concerned about making quality music that can embraced by people of all ages.

  • Robert

    Not to comment on the article as a whole, but I think it’s funny how most of the Janet fans don’t/didn’t like Call Of Me as a first single, but it’s the single that has done the best. I dont’ know if you guys realize this it’s still in the top 20 for R&B Single sales? CHECK IT OUT!

    Billboard update for week ending March 3, 2007
    The following list represents the Billboard positions for “With U,” “So Excited” and “Call On Me” on each of the singles charts and for “20 Y.O.” on each of the album charts for the week ending March 3, 2007.

    After charting for a total of 22 weeks on the official singles charts, “So Excited” falls off of the last remaining chart that it had been on.

    “20 Y.O.”:
    Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums: 81 to 92

    “With U”:
    Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs: 91 to 91
    Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles Sales: re-enters at 16*
    Hot Adult R&B Airplay: 28 to 37

    “So Excited”:
    Hot Dance Music/Club Play: drops out

    “Call On Me”:
    Hot 100 Singles Sales: 13 to 16
    Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles Sales: 8 to 12

    Just thought i’d share… and yes I don’t really like the song either! But Janet FOREVER!

  • blah blah

    I’ve been a fan of Janet’s over the years. Even though I haven’t followed her career as closely as Madonna’s, Janet has impressed me mostly as a stage act. Her sheer physicality on stage is amazing. I was personally rooting for Janet to put all of the scandals and controversies behind her and reclaim the charts with this last album. With this album she has definitely taken a different direction and the result is sonically edgy, and very modern in feel for an r&b record. I thought “Call on Me” was, however, a poor choice for a first single. It was just alittle too subdued, and certainly the video being blacklisted by MTV didn’t help. Remember, MTV was behind the SuperBowl half time show. After getting so much heat for the wadrobe-malfunction debacle, MTV clearly did as much damage control as possible by totally distancing themselves from Janet. Clearly they felt burned, and them not playing Janet’s videos is a clear indication of how icy the relationship has gotten since that incident.

    Nipple-gate, as it’s been dubbed, has definitely damaged Janet’s career.

    All this said, I just had to clear some misinformation regarding Madonna. In fact Madonna’s latest tour, The Confessions Tour, has been certified as the biggest tour ever by a female artist with ticket sales in excess of $190 million dollars. All this was achieved in fewer shows than other acts like U2. Even though those tours may have earned more in total, it was only because they played months longer than Madonna’s tour, and she has made it clear that she intends only to tour when her children are not in school. The Confessions album debutted at #1 in 29 countries, including the US.

    I know this is Janet forum, but I just had to add my two cents.

  • Personal attack

    At least she’s not molesting little girls!

  • Dee

    I totally agree with this article. I found Justin to be a little more apologetic regarding the Superbowl incident. The Superbowl involves families and a revelation of a ” big tit” was not appropriate. She has to understand the NFL represents “MONEY” MTV represents “MONEY” and when you play with someone’s money, your relationship with them will never be the same. MTV will never be able to produce a half time show again for the NFL. That was huge dollars lost for MTV.I’m quite sure Janet’s brothers, nephews and Dad were watching the game. She didn’t care. Also, the amount of magazine covers where she is naked. People don’t want to see her like that anymore. She has to demonstrate some level of maturity now. She’s forty years old. People want to hear her sing soul searching songs. Her fans are probably in their mid 30’s to mid 40’s. She doesn’t know currently who her fans are. I have a 13 year old who doesn’t know who she is with the exception of things I share with her.
    People want to blame her boyfriend. It’s not him. It’s her. She whispers while she sings. The dancing in videos have played out. Be creative! Do something different. I mean just stand at a microphone and just sing your heart out. Do something! Stop feeding your fans junk. Most of us are very intelligent and enjoy good music.

  • Although I disagree with a few statements, your article was pretty much on point.

  • STM

    The writer said: “During the Super Bowl Halftime Show, Janet decided to shock the world by having Justin Timberlake violently rip off a piece of clothing covering her right breast, exposing it sagging with a nipple ring. An international uproar ensued and Janet instantly became the most scorned person on the planet.”

    Wrong. There are more important things in the world to have uproars about.

    The only people who were worried about it were Americans. I don’t think anyone else gave a damn really about Janet’s momentary lapse and tit-flash.

    Really, what all the drama about?

    Imagine the uproar if you’d actually seen a bit of nipple, rather than a crappy brooch.

  • Mark

    I hate admitting this article has some merit, HOWEVER, there are some brandish remarks that would be easily proven false if I were so inclined to waste my time. Janet’s albums are fun, whether oversexed, smart, or otherwise, they will always be fun.

    The author of the article is right though, in copying his opinions from those of so many others – Janet needs a remodel. Frankly, she should drop Jimmy and Terry as producers entirely. Sure they’ve made some hits, it’s just that they are holding her to the past, and everyone seems to be demanding someting new.

    Being that Janet is famous for doing new things with every album and tour, you’d think she would explore new avenues. She has maturity in her relationships now, beyond sex – perhaps could talk about how sex is not important (OK so that one might be redudant to “Let’s Wait Awhile”. Maybe she should take on the war – Madonna may have already tried with her American Life album, but Janet doesn’t seek to push buttons as Madonna does. Janet, by default, would apply some tact and hit the message on point.

    Then again, Janet didn’t get to where she is now by resting on her laurels, she pushed some buttons with her biggest albums. I’m all for hearing what’s going on in her life “at that time” but that only makes for an album that is forced to fade away with time, unlike Rhythm Nation and Control.

    I’m all for Janet having fun with her albums, but unless she comes out with a disc full of high-energy tunes like “All For You”, “So Excited”, “If”, “Black Cat”, and all her others I fail to mention then she will never have the caliber to knock Billboard charts of its foundation. Janet has always taken time off between albums, maybe now she needs to get right back to the studio and record more tunes. I’d love to see her pop a double-disc album. The first disc could be an all new album, unlike non-other; the second disc could be all the “b-sides” she has failed to release. Hell, why not put her website to SOME good use and put all her unreleased tunes up there for download (Being that the webmaster seems to have difficulty updating the site with any sense of regularity). What better marketing scheme than “come to my website, buy my new album and get all my unreleased tunes.” Of course, if they’d rather stay on the same path, she may as well design some new Macromedia with the baring of her breasts as the opening sequence…

  • Page Black

    I hate when people associate Janet with the likes of Mariah or Madonna. She should be associated with Whitney because of their faltering album and single sales.


    I hate when people jump on the band wagon and call out artist for either being a has been or finished when they have a less than favorable cd or two.

    The same things that is being said here was the same thing that was said about Mariah (post Glitter) and Madonna (post Erotica). Big name artist like Madonna, Mariah, JANET and WHITNEY have far greater pressures than the average artist but in all fairness they have already proven themselves worthy.

    For you to sum up Janet and Whitney in this way is ridiculous because the second either one of them have a No. 1 hit, you will be then change your tune and find another legend/icon to predict their end.

    The music industry/game is about doing your best and continually putting out great music your fans can enjoy. It doesnt make sense for non-fans to give their take on an icon’s music future because they are always going to say it is dying.

    Furthermore, to sum up your comment: You are basically saying anybody who can’t score a number 1 hit needs not continue to make music.

    How stupid does that sound?

  • John

    I hate when people associate Janet with the likes of Mariah or Madonna. She should be associated with Whitney because of their faltering album and single sales.

    And comebacks IMO are after an artist fails after several attempts to reach the public, not one badly received album. Both Mariah and Madonna have ever had ONE poorly received album, and as one poster above pointed out, worldwide the album sales were over 6 million.

    Mariah is the best selling female artist of the 90’s, and is going strong this decade. BUT, no other female act has managed to chart CONSISTENTLY like Madonna has. She has managed a top 10 hit after top 10 hit for almost 25 years. She’s never “gone away” and comeback. AMERICAN LIFE might not have played well in the states, but CONFESSIONS has sold over 9 million worldwide and spawned a top 10 hit in the states, and HUNG UP was #1 in every European country, and the other singles charted well overseas too. And she has 36 #1 dance songs – NO ONE COMES CLOSE to touching that.

    And as far as Madonna touring, she can tour less and charge MORE because people will pay top $$$ because they will be entertained AND every song is a recognizeable hit. No one is going to pay $500/ticket to see Janet – unless they really love her, or want to hear old hits. They can easily pop in a DVD of one of Janet’s old concerts for that.

    Janet hasn’t had a HUGE hit in years. Both Mariah and Madonna have and will continue to have them.

  • Just Me

    First and foremost, I love Janet. Not now or ever will there be anyone like her. Sure, there are others that have greater vocal skills, but there is absolutely no one with her personality, her charm, that spirit that just makes you love her. And who the heck can move like that??? Besides Michael. 🙂

    As far as her current success, or lack thereof, however you want to look at it, she will always be Janet Jackson, and Daryl, your 1-2-3 Strike Chronology forgot one thing–she’s still paid–ask Forbes. We as fans (or faux fans) know what we want to see from our beloved stars, but we don’t really have a clue how to do what they do. She may not be #1 right now, but she’s doing something right. You’re still thinking about her….Daryl, relax, you’re too anxious. Have you never had a rough spell–seems to me your article and the ensuing comments say otherwise. Janet will bounce back and keep right on being Janet, as so many others have said. Why stop loving her because she’s not doing what you want her to do right now? You must not have loved ones.

    I do agree with the comments about her music being pop vs RnB. Truly, her music has not changed at all on 20 Y.O., it’s just marketed differently. Take a listen to one of her biggest hits–That’s the Way Love Goes–it could be on 20 Y.O. and fit right in. Pop has always claimed Janet, not the other way around. She just puts out her music and it is embraced by everyone. She should have done that this time, too. And Pop isn’t ‘not playing’ her. Virgin is releasing the music to urban stations only. Check out the press releases on her fansites. If they don’t get it, they can’t play it.

  • Walt,D.

    Hi I thank that janet needs to relize that ever thing comes to a end. Dont get me wrong, Janet is still one of the best R-B, Queens on the seen.

  • Daryl – I couldn’t agree MORE with your assessment of Janet’s steady decline. Aesthetically, she really needs to evolve into something other than a undressed sex kitten. 20 Y.O. was absolutely pathetic and didn’t even cover every last aspect of her fan base. She could’ve included a house track or something! And I wish she’d STOP with the hip hop cameos!

  • Phil

    I really want to believe that Janet will enjoy the same success like Control, Rhythm or Janet again, but it is unlikely. She is not even touring to promote the record 20 Y.O. She needs to reinvent and stay fresh and current like Madonna. As for Mariah’s recent success, that I do not understand coz Emancipation was not that great of a CD, it was so so like Charmbracelet. Granted Janet’s bod is good and some good tracks, she is losing her staying power. She NEEDS some slamming tracks, no more collaboration with rap stars, just a good tune, funky beats and lyrics that we want to hear…like Control, If or Love Will Never Do, I miss the old Janet, so much.

  • daryl d.

    I agree with the previous poster, but Janet, like Madonna, is also a songwriter and producer. True, they work with other people, but have influence over their music: you can’t say that about singers with “great” voices such as Celine Dion. Anyhow, Janet is a POP artist and that’s where she should continue to stay, not R & B.

  • Peter

    I’m a huge Janet fan, and I agree w/the the blogger that the last few years have been complete crap for Ms Jackson —
    The people who are attacking the writer are a bit silly because she’s not a deity of somekind that deserves fawning deference — she’s a pop star –

    I think that if she returns to pop music – esp. dance-pop I think she’ll regain the fans she’s lost — it’s that she was once the trendsetters of dance music and now she’s doing crappy R&B records, when she’s not an R&B singer – it takes vocal prowess to be an R&B singer (Mary J Blige, Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin)

    Janet’s more in the league of Madonna, Kylie, Britney — charismatic singers who don’t have the best voices, but can do well w/great producers – she should look to some of Madonna’s producers, or better yet, go w/someone like the Pet Shop Boys or M People – that would be kind of awesome — she needs to make those great disco stompers that she’s famous for, and stop trying to do second-rate crunk records — it’s awfully sad when Janet is copying singers like Keisha Cole and Ciara….

  • ITHL

    “Of course, only a die-hard fan would criticize this article because, otherwise, it is 100 percent on the spot.”

    There is alot to criticize here, in fact, let me be one of many to do it…

    First, Janet, Madonna, and many who continue to follow in their blueprint for sucess; built their careers on looks and the various different images and alter egos they portrayed in videos. They were/are image driven artists created by the birth and ultimate domination of MTV. Therefore, to say Janet changing her look, slimming down, and refining her image somehow contributed to her “downfall” is obsurd.

    Second, “Got Til It’s Gone” didn’t fail because of it’s quaility. People were turned off with janet’s intial image; Which wasn’t sexual, but more “retro,” and “afro-centric.” With the spiral curls tied up over head, etc. It took people some time to get use to (ironically, it was the “Together Again” single and her more “sexual image” with the release of the “I Get Lonely,” video that propelled the project and gave it legs.

    Next, the “All For You” project, which many fans agree that Virgin dropped the ball. It sold well, which even Daryl has to acknowledge, but Virgin didn’t act fast enough. Waiting, seemingly, years after the first single, which spent seven weeks at #1, to release the follow-up, “Someone To Call My Lover.” This was also during Virgin’s mult-million dollar buyout of Mariah’s contract, which many feel took away the focus from Janet’s project and ultimately from how the “All For You” cd could have performed commercially.

    Finally, as I stated in a response earlier, he fails to even address the Viacom/MTV situation. It’s kind of hard to promote yourself and your projects when you’ve been blacklisted from all your major outlets for advertising (In Janet’s case MTV and pop radio, both controlled by Viacom via MTV and Clear Channel)

    He could’ve made some valid point, he just needs to get his facts straight.

  • Meg

    #39 R&B and dance mean nothing. Billboard 100 is what you want. Either Janet grows up and makes worthy material, not sex songs, which at 40 is just embarrassing, or her career is over.

  • Anon

    I’m surprised Janet Jackson still has fans. Of course, only a die-hard fan would criticize this article because, otherwise, it is 100 percent on the spot. Ok, 99 percent: I wouldn’t call Jermaine Dupri talentless.

  • You left out some key points:

    “Call On Me” was a #1 R&B Single, a #1 R&B Sales Single, a #1 Pop Sales Single, a #2 Dance Song, #9 Song in Japan, was one of the top selling singles of the year and a Top-25 Pop Song. Not to mention the music video was a huge hit on VH1 & BET. MTV Didn’t play it because of the superbowl(but yet the play Justin Timberlake).

    “So Excited” was not released to Pop Radio so it would perform worse. It was a #1 Dance Track, #1 in Japan, #18 Pop Sales Single, #13 R&B Sales Song and a HUGE hit music video.

    “Enjoy” is #1 in Japan.

    “With U” is rising higher and higher every week on the R&B Charts om radio play ALONE–no physical single and no video!

    “20 Y.O.” is certified Platinum in the U.S. and has sold over 850K worldwide. And the tour is about to be announced…that will help album sales TREMENDOUSLY!

    Let’s review, Mariah’s career was on the downfall with “Rainbow,” witch did well but not as well as the previous. Then she released “Glitter” witch bombed horrible. Then she release “Charmbraclet” witch did bad as well. Then, “The Emancipation Of Mimi” is a HUGE success and sells 10 Million.

    Janet’s career was on the downfall with “Damita Jo” witch did well, but not as well as the previous. Then she released “20 Y.O.” witch didn’t do very well due to lack of promotion on the Pop side of things.

    I agree that Janet needs to stop being half-naked on magazines. I also think she should do some movies then do another album in two or three years. But other than that, this article is false.

    Superbowl – Viacom – CBS – Clear Channel – MTV

  • Mesa

    She’s a has been.

  • Joshua

    I don’t really much care for Janet or her paper thin vocals and lip sync of her tours and other live acts. On the other hand she does put on a good show with the props and dance moves. Most of her older singles are good singles with good beats but would sound better if sung by an artist with some vocal talent. Janet relies on really good producers to hide what she greatly lacks, a voice. But then again she is not the only artist who does this, she has talent as a live act even with the lip sync. I much prefer her over her brother who I think is wacked.

    Regarding Madonna whom without a doubt is and has been the most sucessful female act of all time I don’t see how any one can say she really has ever failed to make a comeback. Both “Erotica” and “America Life” charted well globally and sold 6 million or more copies each. Numbers like that most people just dream of. Both albums topped many charts all over the world, spawned several #1 selling singles/maxi-singles without any radio support at all. Madonna’s tours gross millions of dollars, break house records, and simply blow the viewers minds. Madonna has limited the time she tours because she has 2 children who she has to raise not because she can not sell out extended tours, to say anything otherwise is foolish. She made it clear when she agreed to tour after her daughter was born it would be limited to the summer months when her children where on vacation.

  • Jeff

    This article is written like a third-grade term paper at best and is LOADED with unresearched bias.

    So is the rest of the crap written on your blog. Take a writing class, learn to put a story together and stop posing as an expert when you are really just hurting people for your own profit.

  • xz


  • ITHL

    I’m sorry, but the way in which you describe MTV’s support of Janet proves you know nothing about the situation with 20YO.

    Superbowl – Viacom – CBS – Clear Channel (Radio) – MTV

    That’s your answer as to why 20yo performed the way it has.

  • Christopher

    This is written from a very rude and biased standpoint about Janet Jackson. As a music journalist myself, I have criticized Janet as well but not to this extent. I will go on record and say that she does need a better team in her corner, but to call the woman a failure is hitting below the belt. Every great entertainer has had their downfall and Janet is no different. The same folks who dogged Madonna’s “American Life” are the same folks who eventually bought her “Confessions on a Dance Floor” and helped it sell 10 million units.

    Janet’s “20 Y.O” has done very well and it’s a feel good CD, in my opinion. I say do your homework the next time you write about someone of Janet’s caliber.

  • Daryl you are a rude cunt. You can make a comment about Janet and even an opinion but you should be mature and respectful. There was no need for the name calling and bullshit.. You talk about her breast and stuff. but im sure if u were to pull your pants down, your penis wouldnt be mouth watering either.

    GROW UP.. if u dont like janet jackson. stand back and watch her fall. why the fuck do u have to complain? did she force u to buy her shit? dont fucking support it.

  • Daryl D

    “Janet still has it i just think that every star has a downward slope in their life and that should not imply that they are down for good.”

    Lets hope this is just in her career. I hope her personal life is ok. Yeah, everybody has their ups and downs but I didn’t expect Janet’s down to be this long. I don’t care if her music charts or not, just as long as she makes excellent pop records for her pop music fans, not cookie cutter r & B for thirteen year olds.

  • OB

    I think Janet is not done. I think she will have a huge comback like MAriah, Madonna and so on. Janet still has it i just think that every star has a downward slope in their life and that should not imply that they are down for good. The fact that the music industry is going down everyday and we are getting filled with talentless people everyday and the public is (let me quote you) “eating it like apple pie” the real talented stars have to figure out ways to impress todays audience; therefore making it dufficult for them to do something without offending somebody. I honestly like these stars MAriah, Madonna, Cher Janet etc. etc. and i think that this is only a low point in the “forgotten” stars lives and i think eventually Janet will rise again like so many have done.


    Calling Jermaine Dupri untalented is ridiculous. Jermaine is a very good producer. The fact that he wasn’t able to help Janet with her comeback does not make him untalented. Jermaine Dupri produced many of the singles that rose to the top 10 last year.

  • Sandra

    I actually think this is a very well written article by a disappointed fan or a former fan.

  • CCL

    This article is kind of lousy. Not only did you mispell AIDS (Aids), your arguments are falicious at best! The only thing I agree with is the fact that she shouldn’t have released “Got Til It’s Gone.”

    But what you fail to realize about Janet is that she realeases music related to what she wants to communicate to her fans. Janet has been a major player in the music industry for 20 YEARS. If she never has a top 10 single again, that doesn’t take away from what she has accomplished.

    I want to see if people will still be writing about Brittany Spears, Justin Timberlake, or Beyonce 15 years from now the same way you all write about Janet. Janet’s still in control!!!!

  • Darnell

    This is a bunch of crap !! I seriously hope that writing is not your livelihood.

  • JAJ




  • uxobi

    R&B artists would disagree with the statement that having a #1 R&B/dance hit doesn’t mean much…LOL…what a totally whacky statement…many R&B artists are unknown to non R&B fans…pop charts don’t make or break an artist. Janet is still one of the best performers out there. 20+ years strong.

  • Amy

    All this is meaningless Janet is and well always be a great entertainer… who does not copy anyone, but does get copied by a few people.

  • daryl d.

    A couple of comments here:

    1. EVERY artist dies down in “general public” popularity. It’s a given. But those that die in record sales (the stones, madonna, the beatles) actually end up increasing their die hard fan base over the years. I’m judging this by concert ticket sales. If Janet sells out huge stadiums and grosses mnore than $100 million on tour, I will eat my words. I doubt that’s gonna happen. What makes me concentrate on Janet’s fall in popularity is the fans she lost in her core fan base, which is many. Did she deserve to lose those fans? Surely not after the Superbowl thing. But after giving her a chance to make up for it, Janet let people down, plain and simple.

    2. Platinum album sales are determined how many actual albums are sold. An album that goes platinum shipped 1 million albums, but that album might not have sold that many copies.

    3. Number 1 on the dance charts and number 1 on the R&B charts doesn’t mean much these days. Then again, the HOT 100 is flawed itself, so you may be able to argue there.

    4. It is a shame that Justin Timberlake is “forgiven” for his part in the wardrobe malfunction while some people still hold it against Janet. It’s downright hypocritical as well. I don’t think it’s a race thing; it’s more of a sexist issue. By the way, I think anything Janet does today is still better than anything Justin Timberlake does.

    5. I’M NOT COUNTING JANET OUT! She just needs to realize that her target audience isn’t thirteen years old anymore. Also, she needs to forget some of those high school cheerleader dance routines.

  • lilrigg

    i think people in america, are always putting down people, and for janet jackson she been in the business for 2o yrs. she got her millions and she is not making a comeback. why is’nt america putting down justin timberlake, People act like they never seen breast before it’s part of the body, u people act like you never seen one before u soccer moms need to stop acting like your kids never saw a breast before. janet jackson is a talented person and will always have fans and make millions, so as for her new album i like it, people gonna have opinions about everthing. But remember people, there’s more going on in the world then putinng down a superstar because u don’t like something she done in the past, that is really nothing to even make a fuss about breast is a breast get over it and move on. Janet jackson should continue making albums and millions and let people talk ,because that’s how people are in the U.S OF AMERICA

  • Richard

    Janet Jackson has always been a consistent hitmaker since her breakthrough with “Control”. What an amazing chart career she has had. Most artist would kill to have that kind of longevity in the fickle music business. Yes “Got Til It’s Gone” was not a hit on the charts, but now it is considered a classic Janet Jackson song. After “All For You”, Janet did stumble with “Son Of A Gun”. But i have no doubt that the reason her album sales are down and the singles are not hits on the pop charts is because of the superbowl fiasco. That really damaged her career. But i believe that Janet can come back with the right songs and a record company that is really behind her.

  • Caleb G.

    Just because Janet is Platinum dosen’t mean the album sold a million copies. It only sold 600,000 and is now off the chart. “Call On Me” peaked at #25 which isn’t bad but the second single didn’t even rise above #80. In fact I saw “So Excited” played on MTV dozens of times so I don’t see why people are claiming MTV dosen’t play her videos. If she goes on tours, she’ll probably do great, but as for her albums, they just plain suck, which is why she isn’t going to have another top 10 hit.

  • thomas

    oops, before someone has something smart to say…Call on Me went # 1 on R& B sales and So Excited is the current #1 Dance single. The way I wrote sounded as if they both went # 1 on both charts. I know my facts and don’t want any of you “so called” Janet fans to give me any sh*t. You traitor fans should be ashamed. If you can’t support her, just keep your mouth closed and move on.

  • thomas

    what are you talking about???? your statements are so off base. sure, her new album hasn’t sold as many units as her previous, but to say the door has closed on her only makes YOU look ignorant. both singles went number one on R&B sales and Dance charts. the album was nominated for a best contemporary album Grammy. as far as the video, BET’s Access Granted, featuring the making of that video, was the program’s highest rated EVER! before you make comments like yours, KNOW YOUR FACTS KID! no artist stays on top forever. new artists come and go, but MS. Jackson has been in the business for over 20 years. that’s no small feat. if she never sales another album ever, you recognize who and what she has done for the music industry. SHOW SOME RESPECT!

  • christopher

    who the fuck died and made you a critic? you’re entitled to your opinion, but nobody can deny that janet jackson has had an incredible career and made amazing albums…. i find it so interesting that as the face of the music industry, record sales, digital media files and all that encompasses it makes progress people still think record sales and recording artists are going to be the same as they were back in 1986….

    wake up and smell the mp3’s dude….

    janet jackson was never trying to make a comeback…. she simply recorded a new album and released it just like every genuine recording artist does after a couple of years…. if you’re looking for an “artist” that doesn’t change styles or spark controversy then you should stick with boy bands and pop tarts that are being stylized by the industry that made them…. real artists will always have the public questioning their actions because that’s what art is designed to do…. it makes you ask questions, it provokes thought, and takes people through a catharsis of emotions and enjoyment….

    i’m sure if you were kevin federline you’d be sitting with your tail in your legs because people like you feel the need to waste time judging people…. i’m sorry janet jackson isn’t the same person she was in 1986, but guess what? PEOPLE CHANGE!!!!!

  • Michelle

    Okay. I am a Janet fan and I have been since she she was on “Good Times.” But, I’m human and yes, I was disspointed in her entire attempt to “come back.” I have her cd and it’s not a good one. All she does is whisper and if I had known that before I purchased it, I wouldn’t have. In addition, she does “appear” to be desperate for attention which she has never had to do – she’s already a star. I agree, she needs to do some “house cleaning” and get rid of all those rug rats who tried to make her look like a ghetto princess. Janet has always had class in my opinion, but seems they (and maybe her) wanted to make her a R&B soul sista. I’ll be there for her when she decides to make a stronger comeback.

  • Emmanuel

    I Totaly agree w/ U
    Ya’r right I Felt de same When i realized dat her new record wasn’t a #1
    And Actually Janet had de Blame on her Behalf For not Producing With New Artists Like The Neptunes, Timbalad, Will I Am, Rodney Jerkins, among many many others. Who are more talented than her Boo Jearmaine Dupri.
    She Should produce sumn’ Different.
    But also all This Heat on Janet is Caused of The wardrobe malfunction.I Think it was cool, but anyway
    I stil Believe She’s very talented, cool, sexy, and as Everybody who loves Her.
    I’ll be her Fan ForEverMore.

  • Mike_88

    THis person is not a disappointed Janet fan. I’m sorta disappointed the way things had turned out for her and I have criticism (most people who commented supproting her do) , but this is built upon lies, slander, adn totally false information. Daryl D doesn’t even have his facts straight and it seemed really biased. A disappointed fan would had been more contructive. But that was just plain nasty!!!!!!

  • GrapesAndBlue’s

    I wanted to give Janet a chance, I was a fan of her since back in the 80’s. But this comeback album was a total flop. I DO NOT believe that album has even went Platinum yet (whoever said it did). She’s not the same, she’s trying to appeal to the 17/18 years olds and it’s NOT her sound. Mariah can do it because she can do alot with her voice. Janet can’t, her voice is made for certain songs and no matter how hard you try to put a good beat under her singing it sucks. I love Janet and always will, but this was a sad attempt at a comeback.

  • Daryl D

    Wait a second Janet Jackson fans! I admit that this article is harsh and that’s because I am a Janet Jackson fan too. It’s harsh because Janet can do so much better!

    First, let me say that I was not offended by what she did at the Superbowl, but was rather offended by the way she handled it. Still, it’s not fair that Justin was completely “forgiven” while Janet still faces some backlash. Or does she?

    I think people wanted to give Janet a chance when she came out with this album. People wanted this to be her comeback album. However, she completely blew it by trying too hard to appeal to the generic R&B fanbase rather than her own fanbase.

    I still think Janet is a “pop” artist rather than R&B. She has made some of the greatest pop songs ever made. I know Janet Jackson fans are angry, but just because she blew it don’t blame it on me!

    Daryl D

  • moboy

    This is an excellent article that makes several valid points. I assume that Janet Jackson’s record company have sent out their “hit” people to try to discredit this article.

    The author sounds like he’s a disappointed Janet Jackson fan and that he wants her to make a comeback.

  • Robert

    First of all, I will defend 1 thing about the author, as much as we complain about how so many, and I do mean SO MANY, of us disagree with the view of this article, life entitles us to an opinion and this beloved country of ours entitles us to share it. So that being said, you got a right to speak on what you think!

    Now, for what i think! Janet Jackson IS a megastar, and like all people who we, the public, build up, there are always those who at the first sign of stumble get out the hammers to tear them down. I love Janet, I think 20YO is a solid album, not the Slammer that many fans were expecting but a SOLID album none the less. My personal opinion is DamitaJo was a DAMN FINE album. She used her voice well, the songs were fresh, she worked with many different producers and the album is HOT HOT HOT!

    Regardless of what Janet does or doesn’t do concerning her music & film career, who’s she is or isn’t sleeping with, who is or isn’t working with/being produced by, she will be Janet Jackson. Her core audience hasn’t gone anywhere. It has been mentioned but her album is certified Platinum, DamitaJo was certified platinum. So someone must be buying her records. Also remember those certifications are only for the United States, that says nothing of what she’s sold in the rest of the world (we in the US forget, at times, we are only 5% of the Worlds population)

    Comebacks? Don’t get me started. Yes Mariah had a great comeback album. Though the tour ain’t selling, she had a great album. I saw Madonna mentioned somewhere. Where was that comeback. Yes her tour sold, but if you have a nation full of people and only have 20 shows in 5 cities then hell yeah! If Janet went on tour and did the same I’m sure she would have a similar result, but Janet doesn’t need to limit her tour, she will sell. Janet & Madonna are similar in the fact that they have put in their time! They are both megastars and will always have a record deal, and will always sell albums, regardless of what critics or anyone else has to say about their work.

    I guess to sum it all up, Janet is Janet. There are plenty of people who like her, there are plenty of people who don’t. I love her and will continue to influence others too. I am always objective though, no one is perfect as Janet says many times, she’s only human and we all change. Let her continue to grow, we all have awkward period’s in life, you don’t know where she will go next. The true sign of devotion is staying by someone’s side through the rough times. I’m right here with my CD in hand!

  • Trey

    I wont even address this garbage you call an article. Why is it that people are quick to tear people down…..I don’t think it is just Janet, all artists are having slow albums these days…Look at the biggest selling albums of the year (Justin Timberlake: 2.7 mil or Xtina: 1.5 mil or Beyonce: 1.5 mil). I think when janet was in her prime, she was selling 5 million+ albums with each release, so to still be platinum 20 years later is great. This is only the 2nd or 3rd album for most of them and they are already being hit hard with sales declines…How many will be around in 20+ years?

  • Tony Love

    Are you kidding me ? My tv must have malfunctioned that day, cuz I saw Justin “WHITE BOY” TimberFAKE pull off Janet’s top !!!! If thats not what happened, then I promise to buy all new Plasma TV’s for all my rooms ASAP !!!!

    Next time, please report the truth !!

    Thanx !!!

  • Sybil

    While you do make some good assesments, I must disagree with your overall stance.

    It appears now that people are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with Janet’s sexy image and sexual lyrics, however that was not the case until the aforementioned Superbowl incident. In 1993 Janet’s “sex appeal” in her image and lyrics was welcomed and accepted not because the world had grew tired of Madonna, but because it was something that Janet had naturally transitioned into which was something we hadn’t seen from her. Perhaps the issue is that 4 albums later there is not the element of a “new” dimension to her image which was only excascerbated by what happened at the Superbowl……. you must take into account that the sexual lyrics in such hits as “If” “That’s the Way Love Goes” and “All For You” as well as others, were not so closely scrutinized as anything that she has released after this event. With the exception of “Warmth” and “Moist” from the Damita Jo album, Janet’s lyrics are tame in comparison yet in 2006/2007 that seems to be the main focus. I digress on this point.

    My opinion is that Janet’s wein in popularity is a result of 2 things; 1.The Superbowl backlash and 2.Trying to appease the “Pop” audiences.
    Since I’ve already addressed #1 I’ll just get into #2. “Got Til It’s Gone” wasn’t a hit which I think had more to do with the accompanying video than the actual song, “Together Again” saw an enormous amount of success. Even though I like the song and it’s positive message noone can deny it was extremely “poppy”, most of Janet’s hits up until this point were more cross-over “pop” hits opposed to being instant which was the case with this song (with a few exceptions).Whether it was a calculated attempt,on Janet’s part/ the part of her record company, to mirror TA’s success in the pop realm; It appears that all of her massive hits preceeding it have followed the same formula. In doing so, she seems to have lost a substantial amount of her R&B/Urban fanbase.

    With the release of her latest album, Janet’s “untalented midget” (as you like to put it, I disagree) tried to rectify that situation. I’m not certain that it was purely based on that notion, or the ideal that current trends in music lend to more favor for R&B/Urban songs, but it needed to be addressed nonetheless. The transition back into Janet’s normal pattern of songs (lyrics aside) might not have been gradual enough for the R&B/Urban audiences to grasp without viewing it as being contrived(even though they seem to be the only music sector showing her any love at this point).
    MTV’s and Pop radio’s unwillingness to play any of Janet’s recent offerings is again a direct result of the Superbowl backlash, to think otherwise is just plain foolish. It’s a double-edged sword though because she needs the pop audience to continue on her success/popularity but they are the same people that IMO made it decline.

  • jbailey

    I Could not be more angry or disagree more with your assessment of Janet Jackson’s career, it has continuously been a staple of Janet’s career that her “downfall” be predicted after every ensuing effort. Your article lacks many points that must be made if a valid explanation for Janet’s decrease in popularity is to be explained. First, she is a Jackson, and that comes as a double edge sword, being a Jackson open doors to her, after which she had to prove she was worthy of attention otherwise she would be another Latoya. Now it seems to be a favorite American pastime to rip on the Jackson family no matter what they do wacky or otherwise. Janet is a legend in her own right, it is easy to understate the achievements she has earned throughout her career, she has over 30 top ten R&B hits, 10 number one songs, won every music award on the planet and has sold over 50 million records, artists that achieve that level of success do not disappear they may undergo downtimes as all artists do at some point however Janet is here to stay and rightfully so. Janet has enjoyed chart success for over 20 years, she has hit songs from the 80’s, 90’s and the new century when her albums debut she sells over 250k first week and thats at the age of 40 which beats most of her female competition half her age which you also failed to mention. Janet’s career until recent times was without flaw, and major missteps were all but absent. Starting in 2004 with the SB, the reaction to the sight of a Black woman’s breast was not only over the top, but absolutely stinks of racism, thats always been the problem within America we never acknowledge racism when its clearly there because were too busy coming up with every other excuse in the book to deny the elephant in the room as you have so eloquently done. Several “strikes” against Janet Jackson following the Super bowl were more politically motivated then anything, Bush got reelected precisely for the same stupidity that bought into the notion values were at issue within the US, when in fact this very administration has demonstrated it’s own incompetence on matters of moral uprightness. As for the “stunt” itself, there were two people on that stage, yet somehow you fail to mention any responsibility on the part of Justin Timberlake who knowingly removed the clothing coinciding with the lyrics “gonna have you naked by the end of this song” his own song!!. Janet took the entire downfall, and yet no one seems to see any error in that? That wasn’t a strike for Justin Timberlake at all, he was welcome to continue moving forward because the culprit had been chosen. The so-called moral right may as well had burned Janet Jackson at the stake, but what is even more appalling is the continuing abuse, criticism, and downright vindictive nature that has viciously and aberrantly attacked Janet Jackson even despite having apologized concerning the incident. MTV banned Janet Jackson, and no one was up in arms about it, after the history MTV has displayed concerning Black artists it should have been at the very least a question as to why Justin Timberlake continued to enjoy airtime while Janet Jackson was treated like garbage, that is not how you treat an Icon, Janet’s 20 Years of entertaining and bringing joy and understanding about issues of concern to light deserved better then the hack job MTV shelled out to her. Not to mention MTV wouldn’t be the presence it is today had it not been for the Jacksons, and other artists who paved the way for Blacks who were not welcome on MTV channel in the stations infancy. MTV claims they lost money as a result of the SB because they would not be welcome to produce shows for other venues as well, yet somehow it went unspoken how inappropriate it was for MTV to entertain any function seen as a “family event” you hire MTV you don’t expect G-rated yet MTV never owned up to their faults either.

    The weight lose, yes Janet has lost some weight and doesnt she look damn good?…..that should be the words of the tabloid media because when she was heavier all the could report on was how fat and ugly Janet Jackson had become, so she lost the weight and she freely flaunts it in the face of hateful America that “Yes I was fat, but dont I look better then you do now? I know you hate it”

    As for Mariah Carey and Madonna its easy to jump on the comeback bandwagon when the weather is fair isnt it? But Mariah cannot Tour and make huge profits to save her life, Janet Jackson’s last two tours grossed a total of over 100 million dollars according to industry standard Pollstar, so where did you get your facts?
    Jermaine Dupri untalented?…once again where did you get your facts? JD has produced two of the biggest selling albums of the last three years, Mariah’s lauded comeback (as you mentioned) and Usher, that’s talent…maybe JD doesnt work as well for Janet however to call JD untalented shows ignorance on your part.

    In closing, what you are doing now isnt anything different then so many others are doing your jumping on a bandwagon lets tear her on down, its a mob-mentality that says more about your own sense of self then anything about Janet Jackson, do you feel better now? You put someone down? I’m sure I can speak for most true Janet Jackson fans, and there are many, when I say this: when Janet returns to the top and she will, your fandom will not be welcome, because your true fans are those that are there when the cards are down, not taking cheap pot shots when the weather is less then fair.

  • Sean

    Aside from certain exaggerations, like calling Janet the biggest superstar in 1993 or claiming an international uproar over the Super Bowl (only a handful of Americans cared), it’s a good article.

    The simultaneous decline of her music and image seems irreversible at this point. She’s already collaborated with the “hottest” hit makers in the biz to no avail. Her core fan base has abandoned her and the lingering youth oriented flock can’t sustain her career.

  • Jeremy

    I assume you have never listened to 20 Y.O.. If in fact you had, you would know that the album is actually one of her best and could easily be a chart topper. Call on me did hit number one but it is still one of the weaker songs on the album. There about 10 other songs on there that would shoot right to number one. Also, MTV wasn’t playing the song because it was Janet…not because the song sucked. Trust me, I am the one who sent out the war cry to her fans to spam the sight. Try listening to it before you bash it.

  • ysmartin

    this is a pretty lousy article, rife with unfounded criticism and false information. you should stop writing immediately and pursue another career.

  • Norman

    I assume you didn’t know Call On Me hit #1 on the R&B charts twice… #1 on the R&B Sales Charts more than enough times… So Excited hit #1 on the Club charts. Not-to-mention, 20 YO is certified Platinum, and it was #2 on the Hot 100 & #1 on the R&B Charts

    And you called Jermaine Dupri “untalented” but who in fact brought Mariah Carey back? Thank You.
    Your writing skills are flawed cause you can’t get the facts straight