Music, Movies, TV – An Insider’s Perspective

Janet Jackson is Back in Control

Have you seen the Janet Jackson Documentary on Lifetime TV?

This is one of the best documentaries that I have seen on a recording artist. Perhaps it is because Janet was the executive producer of her own two-part, four-hour documentary. We have seen other unauthorized biographies and documentaries, but this time Janet controlled the narrative as she told her real-life stories, hardships, and triumphs with raw emotion. We see some never-before-seen footage of the icon and her family.

Janet takes us on a journey of her life from Gary, Indiana to where she is today.

Being the youngest of 9 gifted and talented Jackson children, Janet had a lot to prove before she could emerge on her own. (there were 10 children, but one died shortly after birth)

All the Jackson siblings were successful in music, but it was Michael and Janet that both had enormous solo careers. Michael was one of the most popular and biggest selling recording artists of all time and Janet often stood in his shadow until she took control of her own destiny.

Janet’s documentary on A&E and Lifetime takes us on a journey through some personal and professional aspects of her life. Fans have not seen this inside look into her life and career as told by Janet until now. Janet speaks about her brother Michael and the infamous Super Bowl half-time performance with Justin Timberlake.

In her documentary “Janet Jackson” we see Janet as the child, the sibling, the actor, recording artist, the dancer, performer, singer, songwriter….the proud MOTHER and the SUPERSTAR.


In 1982, at the age of sixteen, Janet signed her first record deal with A&M Records. This is where I first met Janet. It was at a listening party at A&M Studios for her debut album that was simply titled “Janet Jackson”

Through the years I have been around Janet several times. I was extremely fortunate to have front row seats for her Rhythm Nation tour at the Forum in 1990. Below you will see photos that were taken in the Forum Club at a reception for her.

Every tour and album release always had a spectacular event or party. I had some in-stores with Janet and one Christmas season she did a remote radio interview in my store with the famed DJ, Greg Mack. (see photo below)

My favorite Janet party was for “The Velvet Rope.” It was an outdoor event with a carnival type atmosphere. There were celebrity sightings everywhere but when one caught our eye, we could not resist talking to him. It was Mike Tyson and both myself and my guest Carla were huge boxing fans. This is where I lost Carla for a while as she sat and talked boxing with Mike Tyson. Carla knew her history and stats on boxing so Mike was engaged in the conversation.

After seeing Janet’s documentary, I wanted to listen to some of Janet’s albums. I decided to go back to basics and to break out my old vinyl records. I quickly realized that I was missing a few that used to be a part of my Janet Jackson collection. So today I am going to use my gift card that I got over the holidays. I cannot think of a better way to use it even with thousands of other titles within my clicking fingertips.

In case you have the urge to listen to Janet, or Ms. Jackson, if you’re nasty…HERE ARE SOME OF MY FAVORITES…(Due to the popularity of Janet’s Documentary several titles are currently out of stock, but they are on their way back very soon – click this link to check availability)

  • Control
  • Rhythm Nation
  • Rhythm Nation (the remixes)
  • Janet (2 LP set)
  • The Velvet Rope (CD or LP)
  • Design of a Decade 1986-1996 Greatest Hits
  • All For You (LP)


  1. Jarryl

    I love that you were there from album 1! Yea I’m very impressed with the documentary, she’s my favorite artist of all time & when I would tell people that the response would be in the tone of “over Michael? Really!?!”. What I appreciate about this documentary is it really let people in on her creative process & what makes her unique & more than “Michael’s baby sister”. My favorite jaw dropping moment (and there were MANY) was seeing the in studio argument between Janet & Jimmy Jam, because I’ve heard ever since Clarence Avant’s documentary that it was shaky & difficult when Jam&Lewis & Janet re-teamed for Rhythm Nation, that it was bumpy in the beginning. I always knew “You Need Me” was 1 of (if not the) 1st song they worked on together for that album (and that part of the drama came from she recorded a few songs with other producers which Jam & Lewis didn’t like, and she only did because she didn’t want people thinking she was only successful with Control because of them). And that fight was a inside look beyond what I heard & read at how difficult it was in the beginning. But then ironically that’s the album where they uniquely became Janet,Jam&Lewis where she got closer to then & trusted them more & vice versa they really trusted more of her ideas & instincts as a songwriter & producer.

    A VERY close 2nd would be the footage of the making of the song Scream, I’ve seen a million hours & types of behind the scenes for the music video for Scream, but never the recording or creative process. So I’m just so happy for her & this documentary & that she got to do this in her lifetime, tell her story her way.

    • Violet

      Me too Jarryl. I loved the Doc. She went through a lot but made it to the top. So nice to read your comment and THANK YOU