I have been celebrating Janet’s career and legacy since the age of three years old. I have always loved Janet’s showmanship it has always inspired me in one form or another since then. Either through my own dance, or entertaining from such a young age. If you ask anyone in my family they will tell you. This will more than likely turn into a series of articles about Janet because the love for her is just that deep. As Janet is preparing to take the stage tonight in Hollywood, Florida for the Together Again tour, I want to take the time to reminisce.
When I started my career in entertainment nearly 36 years ago as the youngest pre-teen producer and television host on Continental Cablevision’s public access channel 37, in Lansing, MI, I had always integrated Janet Jackson into my programming.
I need to go back a little further than that. It was summer and back in the day there were not as many options as there are now to watch what you wanted on television. For me, it was Wonder Woman and the Jackson Family Variety Show.
I believe the first time that I ever saw Janet perform was with her brother Randy on their variety show as Pinky Tuscadero alongside her other brothers and sisters. I loved her performance, and I wanted to see more of her.
As I am sitting here writing this, I am flooded with good memories about buying my first Janet album, the first one that I ever bought was Dream Street.
When I tell you that I worked for everything I ever got, it is the truth I did. I mowed lawns, shoveled snow, and did whatever I needed to do to buy what I wanted. It was no different than buying a Janet album at such a young age.
My cousin Lisa asked to borrow the Dream Street album and against my better judgment, I did let her borrow it. The thing is, she held onto it for so long that I had to borrow it back. That was the absolute last time that I ever let someone borrow music from me.
When Control came out, I nearly lost my mind. Janet came out of the box swinging with that album, and of course, I had to have it. I bought the album and every remix single that came out of it too.
I emulated every single dance move to When I Think of You, What Have You Done for Me Lately?, Nasty, Control, and The Pleasure Principle. Every single award show that I found out that she was going to be on, I watched or set my family’s BETA VCR to record.
When Janet performed Control at the 1987s, American Music Awards, I was at home screaming just as loud as the people in the audience were. They too had lost their minds over her performance.
Barry Lather had done a superb job with the choreography. Then less than a month later he did it again with her performance at the Grammys with her What Have You Done For Me Lately? / Nasty performance.
Janet was not done with 1987 yet, later that year Let’s Wait Awhile, the ballad came out and then The Pleasure Principle music video dropped later that year. Janet racked up so many nominations and awards that year finally everything that she worked so hard for was coming to fruition and she deserved every bit of it.
The Control album by Janet Jackson helped me through a very difficult time in my life. I was coming to terms with and experiencing a lot of difficult emotions. I always turned to music and it was her music that lifted me up through some of the most challenging times in my life.
As you all should know, if you don’t know that IRMIX Radio is currently planning a birthday celebration for Janet, called #CelebratingJanet that will air on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, starting at Midnight, until Midnight, May 17, 2023.