ESSENCE Exclusive: Janet Jackson Pens "Letter From My Heart"

In an ESSENCE cover story exclusive, music icon Janet Jackson pens a deeply intimate message to Black women for the magazine's first-ever "Happiness" issue. In Letter From My Heart, the artist reveals herself like never before—connecting with the audience as she shares her personal journey to finding joy and happiness in her life. In the essay, Janet shares with her "ESSENCE Sistas" some of the lessons she learned from her childhood to adulthood—including her early struggles with depression, low self-esteem and failed relationships to her eventual growth as an artist, discovery of peace and learning to "fully embrace God's love." She shares:

  • In Her Childhood: "I was happy when my brothers came home from performing on the road. I was happy when my mother lavished me with love. But I wasn't happy with the way I looked…"
  • In Her Teens: "Happiness came when people asked me to perform…but I was happiest when I was pleasing others and not myself. An older and wiser Janet might have said, 'True happiness is knowing you're doing the best you can…'"
  • In Her Thirties: "These were difficult years, when I struggled with depression. The struggle was intense. I could analyze the source of my depression forever. Low self-esteem might be rooted in childhood feelings of inferiority. It could relate to failing to meet impossibly high standards. And of course there are always the societal issues of racism and sexism. Put it all together and depression is a tenacious and scary condition. Thankfully, I found my way way through it…"
  • Today, at 52: "Now the height of happiness is holding my baby son in my arms and hearing him coo, or when I look into his smiling eyes and watch him respond to my tenderness. When I kiss him. When I sing him softly to sleep. During those sacred times, happiness is everywhere. Happiness is in gratitude to God…"

The gorgeous GRAMMY award-winning singer and actress, who was photographed with members of her J Tribe dancers in the background, stuns as she donned clothing and accessories from designers such as Zac Posen, Givenchy, Haider Ackermann, Azzi & Osta and more. 

Jermaine Jackson responds to media headlines about his father Joseph's welfare

Following the story of The Daily Mail (20 June 2018) and media headlines that Jermaine Jackson said that Jackson family patriarch Joseph is "dying", Jermaine released the following statement on Twitter:

On the new story re Joseph. I'd like to be clear: I've no problem speaking up when it comes to the welfare of this family, but a journalist called me with information he clearly already had about my father. I confirmed certain details but "revealed" nothing. (1/2)
2: My father's health is not good, but "dying" is a harsh word chosen by headline writers, not me. For however long he has left, my mother, siblings, and relatives want to be with him, without hindrance. (2/2)

- Jermaine Jackson on Twitter, 21 June 2018

Michael Jackson Musical Coming to Broadway

The Michael Jackson Estate and Columbia Live Stage are developing a new stage musical inspired by the life of the beloved pop star. The as-yet untitled show is expected to arrive on Broadway in 2020. Playwright Lynn Nottage will pen the book, while Christopher Wheeldon will direct and choreograph the show. The score will comprise hits from across Michael Jackson's massive catalogue. Nottage has won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama twice, first in 2009 for Ruined – a play about women in war-torn Congo – and more recently in 2017 for Sweat, which is about residents in Reading, Pennsylvania, one of the poorest cities in America. Wheeldon is an acclaimed choreographer and director best known for adapting the 1951 film An American in Paris into a Broadway musical. The show won several Tony Awards, with Wheeldon picking up the trophy for Best Choreography. The Broadway musical marks a new type of stage venture for the Michael Jackson Estate, which previously sanctioned two Cirque du Soleil shows, Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour and Michael Jackson: One. Other projects the estate has produced in recent years include the 2017 compilation Scream, a 3-D rendering of the famed "Thriller" video and two posthumous albums, Michael and Xscape.

Janet Jackson receive first-ever Impact Award at 2018 Radio Disney Music Awards

2018 is proving to be a major year for pop icon Janet Jackson. Fresh off receiving the Icon Award at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards, Janet continues to add to her awards cabinet: Radio Disney has announced that Janet will receive the first-ever Impact Award at the 2018 Radio Disney Awards, airing this Saturday (June 23). The award is in recognition of Janet's influence on the world of entertainment and society, across generations of music enthusiasts. Also being honored at the show include Carrie Underwood receiving the Hero Award and Kelly Clarkson receiving the Icon Award. Janet is currently preparing for her State of the World Tour, beginning July 11 in Austin, Texas, and traveling through the States over the summer. 

Detroit honors The Jackson with ceremonial keys to city

Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon Jackson got a warm reception Friday June 15th in the hometown of Motown Records and were given the ceremonial keys to the city by Detroit police Chief James Craig. The celebration was initially supposed to have included the renaming of a street after their more famous brother, Michael, but the plan was abandoned after it emerged that the brothers had thought the street would be named after The Jackson 5. A Detroit ordinance prohibits streets from being ceremonially renamed after groups or organizations. The remaining members of The Jackson 5 performed Saturday at a free concert in the city.

3T release brand new single and music video "Fire"and album 'Chapter III'

3T have released a brand new single and music video for "Fire". The music video is directed and produced by Taj Jackson and Prince Jackson and besides Taj, Taryll and TJ features TJ's son Royal, model Renee Herbert and Dean Pleasants from Suicidal Tendencies. "Fire" is the first single of the album 'Chapter III' and available at digital platforms and as a CD digipack at Warrior Records. The album Chapter III is also available as a CD digipack, LP and vinyl picture disc at Warrior Records. Please note that 3T updated all the usernames of their social media accounts to "3TWorld".

Janet Jackson References #MeToo in Icon Award Speech at Billboard Music Awards

Superstar and Billboard Icon Award recipient Janet Jackson made her stance on the MeToo movement clear during her acceptance speech at the awards show Sunday night, and thanked God for her artistic career. “I believe that, for all of our challenges, we live at a glorious moment in history,” she began, after performing her 1986 hit “Nasty” and 1993 song “Throb.” “It’s a moment that, at long last, women have made it clear that we will no longer be controlled, manipulated, or abused. I stand with those women and with those men equally outraged by discrimination, who support us in heart and mind.” She continued with a message about faith. “My prayer is that, weary of such noise, we will turn back to the source of all calmness, that source is God. Everything we lack, God has in abundance: compassion, sensitivity, patience and boundless love. Again I want to thank all of you for this honor and I thank God for giving me the precious energy that lets me live my life as an artist who every day seeks to expend my capacity to love." In the audience various family members of Janet were present such as her mother Mrs Katherine Jackson, sister Rebbie Jackson, nephews Austin Brown and Prince Jackson and niece Yashi Brown

Janet is the first black woman to receive the Icon Award, as surprise presenter Bruno Mars pointed out in his introduction. “The name ‘Jackson’ represents artistic genius and iconic performance,” said Mars of the legendary superstar. “The Jacksons are music royalty and the first family of entertainment. She is an activist. She’s a humanitarian. She’s a powerful woman.”

La Toya Jackson winner of Worst Cooks in America Celebrity edition

La Toya Jackson is the winner of Worst Cooks in America Celebrity edition and received $25,000 for her charity Race to Erase MS. She also won bragging rights for her coach Tyler Florence. Congrats and well done, Toy! 

The Jacksons to Headline Detroit Music Weekend, Receive Key to the City & Honorary Street Renaming

Fifty years after The Jackson 5 signed with Motown and came to Detroit for the first time -- famously performing for the label's roster around Berry Gordy's home swimming pool -- the city will honor the group with a street named after it. Well, one of its members, at least -- and possibly more. 

Michael Jackson Ave. was announced Thursday for a block in Detroit's downtown, with an unveiling to take place during the second annual Detroit Music Weekend June 14-17. The surviving Jackson 5 brothers -- Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon -- will headline the festival and receive a key to the city. But Jackie and Marlon, on hand for the Thursday announcement, were surprised that the street was being named just for their late younger brother and indicated there might be a change.

Marlon told Billboard that the street was "supposed to be" named for the entire group and added that "I think it is going to be that. There was a mistake." A Detroit city ordinance requires any honorary street naming to be for an individual only, but sources said that talks were underway to allow for an exception to that. Festival founder and producer Vince Paul explained, "I'd like to do the other four brothers individually. It seemed appropriate to start with Michael because of his premature passing, so that's the first one we'll start with. But if I had my druthers there'll be [streets named for] Tito, Jackie, Marlon. That's where I'm going with it." 

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Billboard: Jackie Jackson Is 'Critically Amused' With New Label: 'Everything Starts With the Music'

Fifty years after signing with Motown, The Jacksons are celebrating their anniversary with tours in 2018 and 2019, but eldest brother Jackie Jackson is also doing his own thing with his new record label, Critically Amused. Billboard met up with Jackson at a hotel in Brentwood, California, to talk about his new venture and his first two artists, Gold Lemonade and D.B.L. Check out the story on Billboard website and make sure to visit www.criticallyamused.com and follow Critically Amused on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, SoundCloud and Instagram