When the Lifetime Movie Network network/A&E announced that it would be debuting a two night documentary about the life of beloved Janet Jackson and Janet herself had a hand in the production… we knew we were going to be in for a treat!
The show was split between two episodes that contained four parts full of highs and lows. Janet took us through her life and shared footage we had never seen of her life through the years. She also revealed many things that fans didn’t know about her life. Check out twenty-eight different facts we learned about Janet in the Lifetime/A&E documentary “Janet Jackson”
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- The family of 9 boys and 3 girls lived with their parents in Gary, Indiana in a 670 sq foot home. located at 2300 Jackson Street. Many thought the street was named after them but it wasn’t, it was always Jackson street.
- The three girls slept on the living room floor and the six boys shared a bunk bed.
- Their mother, Katherine Jackson, worked at Sears and their father, Joe Jackson, worked at a local steel mill.
- The children found an interest in music at a young age and would steal their father’s guitar while he was away at work. Joe Jackson only found out about their talent after a guitar string was broken. Instead of punishing the children he spent all of his money on instruments for them to practice and develop their talents.
- Joe Jackson believed in the children talent and got The Jackson 5 an audition with Berry Gordy at Motown in Detroit. Gordy signed the Jackson 5 and their careers took off from there.
- In 1971 the family moved to California in a home on 2 1/2 acres. Katherine and Joe hosted many celebrities at their parties and entertained legends like David Bowie, Redd Foxx, Eddie Kendricks, Don Cornelious, and many more.
- In 1974 the Jackson children started performing together in Vegas earning around 100K a week. This was Janet’s first time performing at the age of 7. Michael, Randy, and Janet would sneak into topless shows on the strip between performances.
- In 1977 Janet was casted as the role Penny, an abused child, on the hit show Good Times.
- The Jacksons had a studio in their home and Janet recorded a song in her head. She accidentally left the reel with the recording in the studio. Joe Jackson found it and insisted that she start singing, Janet didn’t want to sing she wanted to go to college at Pepperdine University. Soon after Janet was signed to A&E starting her music career.
- September 7, 1984 in Grand Rapids Michigan at the age of 18 years old Janet Jackson secretly married James Debarge. Janet says it was her way of breaking away from the bonds of her family and gaining independence. Janet claims on the night of their marriage James left her alone for four hours in a hotel room.
- Janet joined the cast of fame as the character Cleo. She claims that she didn’t want to do the show but did it because of the pressures from her father. Janet would wait for her husband to pick her up for hours from the set of Fame. Janet learned James was reguarly late because he had a drug problem.
- Janet would ride around town for hours searching for her husband. She often would physically tussle with him over drugs trying to flush them down the toilet. The marriage only lasted a year until Janet decided to end the marriage.
- After the marriage ended rumors started that Janet had a secret love child with her ex husband and that the child (an alleged girl) was being raised by her sister Reebie Jackson. Then there were rumors that Randy Jackson’s daughter that looked just like Janet was her love child. Janet denies all of these rumors and claims that she and James did not have a child together.
- In 1985 Janet decided to t ake another change at her music career. But she knew to have things her way she would have to cut professional ties with her father. In 1986 Janet Jackson released her second album ‘Control’ produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. With Paula Abdul helping Janet with the famous choreography that we loved this team solidified her musical career and winning a lot of awards. But working with Jam and Lewis wasn’t always easy and Janet fought with them over creative things.
- March 3, 1991 Janet married dancer and filmmaker René Elizondo Jr. He documented almost every aspect of her life for a span of 10 years. Most of the film was unseen until this documentary aired.
** Scroll Down for Episode 2 **
- 1993 was a big year for Janet making her feature film debut in John Singleton’s ‘Poetic Justice’, releasing a major song for the movie, and landing the epic topless Rolling Stone magazine cover.
- Janet revealed that the abuse allegations against her brother Michael affected business deals with herself simply because he was her brother and she was “guilty by association”.
- Janet revealed that she was an emotional eater and struggled with weight and image problems.
- Janet and her husband René Elizondo Jr. divorced after nine years of marriage. Janet cut all ties with him personally and professionally and claimed the relationship was too controlling and René had an issue with pain pills. The divorce was brutal and René walked away with a hefty payout.
- Janet met Jermaine Dupri in 2003 in her dressing room after one of her concerts in Atlanta. This was the start of their relationship. Janet claims he was the first relationship she had with someone that wasn’t addicted to anything.
- In 2004 Janet performed with Justin Timberlake at the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show. Janet said this opportunity was a dream come true and this was her third time being asked but the first time she was able to perform. But the performance took a major turn at the end when Justin Timberlake exposed Janet’s breast on national television. Prompting a flood of complaints to the government saying that Jane and Justin sexualized the show. The public speculated it was intentional for promotion, others deemed it an accident, and some accused Justin of being vindictive. Janet claims none of this was planned and it was truly a wardrobe malfunction. Janet was essentially blacklisted from a lot of things and was even disinvited to the Grammys while Justin didn’t suffer the way Janet did.
- Stevie Wonder is Janet Jackson’s 3rd cousin (who knew?!)
- Jermaine Dupri proposed to Janet, and she accepted. But before they could marry the relationship ended because Jermaine was cheating. Jermaine called it being “reckless” and claimed that dating her attracted other woman and he was “being a man”. Janet also claimed that work got in the way because Jermaine was a workaholic and didn’t make enough time for them. Janet still claims that Jermaine is a good man. Jermaine feels he could have fought much harder for the relationship and it could have worked. After 8 years, the relationship was over.
- In 2009 while filming “Why did I get Married 2” Michael Jackson passed away at the age of 50 years old due to an unintentional opioid overdoes. Janet claims it took a while for her to accept his death.
- At the age of 50 Janet Jackson postponed her tour because she was pregnant Wissam Al Mana. In 2017, Janet gave birth to a healthy boy named Eissa. Within a year of giving birth, Janet went back on tour.
- In 2018 the Jackson family suffered a loss when Joe Jackson passed away at the age of 89.
- In 2019 Janet was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, long overdue after all of the record breaking hits and career landmarks. Janet marks this as a defining moment in her career. In her acceptance speech Janet challenged the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to induct more women.
- Janet is set to go back on tour and release a new album “Black Diamond” in 2022.
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