Janet Jackson: Sky documentary tease in star-studded trailer
Janet, the tenth and youngest child in the famous Jackson family, takes center stage in a new documentary of the same name. The revealing feature comes as she marks the 40th anniversary of her debut album and explores far beyond her stage career. Born in May 1966 in the town of Gary, Indiana, Janet was just two years old when her brothers signed a recording contract with Motown under the name Jackson 5.
They soon had their first number one hit and moved to the Encino neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Wende Watt grew up next to the Jackson family. She told the documentary that many people moved to suburban Los Angeles to escape the city itself.
It was an affluent white neighborhood. She said the Jacksons were the first black family to settle in the area, and it proved “a bit controversial.”
Janet opened up about some of the racism she experienced in the documentary.
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Janet Jackson revealed her classmates were rubbing their skin asking, “Is this coming off?”
Janet Jackson and Wende Watt.
She recalls: “A lot of people didn’t want us there. They had this petition going around saying we wouldn’t be in the neighborhood.
“I remember walking down the street and being called the N-word, someone walking by and calling him.
“You look like you’re going home to your country.”
Janet remembers feeling racial prejudice at school, both from teachers and other students.
Michael and Janet Jackson at their Encino home in December 1972.
She recalled that “some of the children touched your hair because your hair was different from theirs”.
She continued, “Or your skin, rubbing it like, ‘Is it going away?’ No, yours?
The Jackson 5 were pioneers of American popular culture, and they couldn’t have come at a more pivotal time in American society. In December 1969, they released their first single “I Want You Back”. Just a year earlier, America’s urban downtowns were burning.
Riots broke out in more than a hundred American cities following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
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The Jackson 5 appeared in 1971.
With 11-year-old Michael in the lead and his brother Jermaine as second lead singer, the Jackson 5 represented a new generation for black Americans.
They proved that, against all odds, African Americans could rise to the top. Kids across the country, regardless of race, gender and ethnicity, wanted to be the Jackson 5.
Janet has used her own career to bring attention to the issues of injustice that matter most to her, from equality to HIV/AIDS awareness.
His 1989 album “Rhythm Nation,” widely considered one of the best albums of the 80s, was his breakthrough. She became a star in her own right, rather than “Michael Jackson’s younger sister”.
Janet Jackson’s four-part documentary is available now.
Her success has often been seen as a turning point for pop and R&B, her influence reaching Britney Spears, Beyoncé and beyond.
Although Janet and her siblings remained exceptionally close, Janet admitted that she realized she was starting to drift away from Michael after her sixth studio album.
She told the documentary: ‘Every time Mike would make an album he would throw me in his car and we would listen to it back and forth to see what I thought of it.
“I remember really loving the Thriller album. But for the first time in my life, that’s when I felt that it was different between the two of us, that a change was happening.
“That’s when Mike and I started going our separate ways. We weren’t that close.
Janet also offered a brief glimpse into her heartbreaking final conversation with the Man In The Mirror singer.
The whole family was present at a surprise party for Katherine and Joe – their mother and father.
Janet said: “He was sitting next to me, and he was laughing like crazy and he was having this deep laugh and I remember him looking at me…and the last thing we said to each other was ‘I love you “And that was the last time I saw him.
Janet is available on Sky Catch Up and NOW.