After more than four decades in the entertainment business, Janet Jackson is sharing her story for the first time in a two-hour documentary, “Janet,” slated to premiere on Lifetime and A&E in January. The two-night event celebrates the 40th anniversary of Jackson’s eponymous debut album.
In the minute-long teaser that she debuted on Instagram September 6, Jackson declared: “This is my story told by me. Not through someone else’s eyes. This is the truth. Take it or leave it, love it or hate it, this is me.”
“Janet” offers an intimate, honest, and unfiltered look inside her record-breaking career, giving fans a front-row seat to watch never-before-seen footage and appearances from Jackson’s friends and family, collaborators, and musical peers.
“She’s an empowered woman,” Mariah Carey said in the teaser. Added Paula Abdul, “A force to be reckoned with.” “This is what a superstar [looks] like,” said Missy Elliott, who collaborated with Jackson on “Son of a Gun” and “Burn it Up.”
Also appearing in the trailer are Whyley Yoshimura, Jackson’s longtime background dancer, along with Jackson’s brother, Tito, who notes: “She will always be my baby sister.”
Jackson’s 1986 hit “Control” serves as the musical backdrop for the trailer, which delivers a quick glimpse into her world. The clip begins with Jackson as a child star before delving into her evolution into a musical phenom. “Janet” shows the highs and lows of a multi-faceted career with everything from Jackson recording in the studio to dance rehearsals, jet-setting around the globe on tour, and a behind-the-scenes look at Jackson seated next to Tupac Shakur on the set of her first film role in John Singleton’s “Poetic Justice.”
Audiences will also get to see adorable family videos, one of which shows Jackson as a baby sitting on her mother’s lap. Her father is seen in the clip as well as her superstar older brother, Michael.
Although she is one of the most recognizable stars in music, Jackson has endured peaks and valleys in her life and career. From her immense success and incredible tragedy, to surviving a tumultuous private life amid public scrutiny, “Janet” reveals some of her most intimate memories caught on film for the first time ever.
Director Ben Hirsch (“Bruno v Tyson”) spent five years making this documentary as Jackson granted exclusive access into her massive archive of previously unseen home movies and interviews.
“Janet” is produced for Lifetime and A+E networks by Workerbee and co-produced by Associated Entertainment Corp. Jackson is an executive producer on the documentary alongside her brother, Randy. Rick Murray is executive producer for Workerbee, and Brie Miranda Bryant serves as executive producer for A+E Networks
Since releasing her debut LP in 1982, Jackson has become one of the most influential entertainers of the modern era. The five-time Grammy winner reigns among the best-selling artists of all time with more than 180 million records sold. Jackson’s accolades include earning a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, two Emmys, a Golden Globe Award, three NAACP Awards, an Academy Award nomination, and dozens of American Music Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, and Billboard Awards. She also holds the record for the best-selling debut tour in history and is the first woman to debut in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 charts. She is one of only four artists to have a No. 1 album across four consecutive decades (joining Barbra Streisand, Bruce Springsteen, and U2).
In February, the megastar celebrated the 35th anniversary of her groundbreaking album, “Control,” which she released she was 19. Its hits include “When I Think of You,” “What Have You Done for Me Lately?,” “Nasty,” “Let’s Wait a While,” and the unapologetic title track. “Control” sold more than 10 million records worldwide and became Jackson’s first No. 1 pop album. The album also made Billboard history for the longest continuous run on the Hot 100 singles charts from a single album at 65 consecutive weeks.
Jackson solidified her iconic status with albums such as “The Velvet Rope,” “Janet,” “All for You,” “Damita Joe,” and “Discipline.” Jackson’s most recent studio album, “Unbreakable,” was released in 2015.
In 2018, Jackson’s single “Made for Now” with Daddy Yankee, hit No. 1 on the Dance Clubs Songs chart, marking her 20th single on the chart throughout her career. In 2019, Jackson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and her critically acclaimed Las Vegas residency was named one of the most successful productions of the decade, predating the success of Vegas shows led by Celine Dion, Britney Spears, and the Backstreet Boys.