More than a decade after the Super Bowl halftime kerfuffle, Janet Jackson is doing things her way

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

It’s the moment that continues to hang over Janet Jackson’s career, and now it’s back in the news again.

Jackson — who performs Sunday night at Little Caesars Arena — made headlines this week when it was announced that Justin Timberlake will provide halftime entertainment at this season’s Super Bowl.

Jackson and Timberlake have a bit of history together at the Super Bowl, you’ll no doubt remember. When the pair hit the stage together at the 2004 Super Bowl, the performance ended with a stunt where Timberlake ripped open Jackson’s top, briefly exposing her bejeweled right breast to a worldwide televised audience.

Chaos, apologies, debates, hearings and blacklistings followed. Timberlake’s career thrived, Jackson’s temporarily suffered. But 13 years later, Jackson is doing just fine.

Jackson has since released four albums, two of which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 albums chart. She embarked on several world tours, and earlier this year, she gave birth to her first child. Her current tour, which touches on many social hot-button issues of the day, is earning strong marks from critics and audiences alike.

Way before the Super Bowl incident, Jackson was one of the biggest, most provocative stars of the 1980s and 1990s. Since breaking out with her third album, “Control,” in 1986, she was a mainstay of the pop charts and MTV, landing culture-shaking megahits such as “Nasty,” “Miss You Much,” “That’s the Way Love Goes,” “Rhythm Nation,” “Escapade” and “Together Again.”

Jackson has scored 10 No. 1 hits on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, tying her with Stevie Wonder for eighth on the list of all-time chart toppers, just a few spots below her brother Michael, who notched 13 No. 1s.

Beyond her hits, the five-time Grammy winner is known for pushing boundaries in the mainstreaming of sexual taboos: Her 1997 album “The Velvet Rope” contained bondage and S&M themes, and she caused jaws to drop with her topless photo on the cover of her 1993 album “janet.” She also has been at the forefront of social issues: “The Velvet Rope” dealt frankly with domestic violence, and her 1989 album “Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814” attacked intolerance and racial injustice.

Those are several of the themes present in Jackson’s current outing, dubbed her “State of the World” tour. The show opens with references to the deaths of Michael Brown, Oscar Grant and Eric Garner, black men who were killed at the hands of white police officers, along with “Rhythm Nation” cuts “The Knowledge” (sample lyrics: “Prejudice... no! Ignorance... no! Bigotry... no! Illiteracy... no!”) and “State of the World” kick off the show, according to tour reports.

The tour is a rejiggered version of Jackson’s “Unbreakable World Tour,” her 2015 trek that was shelved when she became pregnant. Jackson gave birth to her son, Eissa, in January and three months later announced she had left her third husband, Wissam Al Mana.

In recent years, Jackson scored a best-selling book, 2011’s “True You,” and she starred in a pair of Tyler Perry movies, “Why Did I Get Married?” and its sequel, that fared well at the box office.

While her hits have cooled — it’s been 16 years since her last No. 1, “All For You,” in 2001 — the pop charts tend to favor the young. For the last 30 years, the average age of No. 1 artists on the Hot 100 chart is between 26 and 27, Billboard reports. Sia, Eminem and Pharrell are among the rare artists to hit No. 1 over the age of 40 in the last 10 years.

Jackson’s most recent album, 2015’s “Unbreakable,” reteamed her with producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and yielded the single “No Sleeep,” which became the 51-year-old’s 40th single to chart on Billboard’s Hot 100. The set debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, making Jackson the third artist in history to earn No. 1 albums in four decades.

Which brings us back to the Super Bowl. While reports have stated that Jackson was “banned” from the Super Bowl, the NFL said this week that is not the case and if Timberlake so chooses, he is welcome to bring her out during his show. But she doesn’t need it, and there’s nothing that says Jackson — who has made a career out of being strong-willed and doing things her way — would accept his invitation anyway.

After all, she’s still in control.

agraham@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2284

@grahamorama

‘State of the World’ tour

Janet Jackson

8 p.m. Sunday

Little Caesars Arena

2645 Woodward,

Detroit

Tickets $29.50 and up

ticketmaster.com or (313) 471-7000

Janet’s biggest hits

Here are Janet Jackson’s 25 songs that made Billboard’s Hot 100:

1. “Miss You Much,” peak position No. 1 (4 weeks), peak date Oct. 7, 1989

2. “Escapade,” No. 1 (3 weeks), March 3, 1990

3. “That’s the Way Love Goes,” No. 1 (8 weeks), May 15, 1993

4. “All for You,” No. 1 (7 weeks), April 14, 2001

5. “Together Again,” No. 1 (2 weeks), Jan. 31, 1998

6. “Love Will Never Do (Without You),” No. 1 (1 week), Jan. 19, 1991

7. “When I Think of You,” No. 1 (2 weeks), Oct. 11, 1986

8. “Again,” No. 1 (2 weeks) Dec. 11, 1993

9. “Runaway,” No. 3, Oct. 21, 1995

10. “Doesn’t Really Matter,” No. 1 (3 weeks), Aug. 26, 2000

11. “Rhythm Nation,” No. 2, Jan. 6, 1990

12. “Alright,” No. 4, June 2, 1990

13. “Control,” No. 5, Jan. 24, 1987

14. “What Have You Done for Me Lately,” No. 4, May 17, 1986

15. “Black Cat,” No. 1 (1 week), Oct. 27, 1990

16. “Nasty,” No. 3, July 19, 1986

17. “Let’s Wait Awhile,” No. 2, March 21, 1987

18. “Come Back to Me,” No. 2, Aug. 18, 1990

19. “Any Time, Any Place,” No. 2, June 25, 1994

20. “If,” No. 4, Sept. 11, 1993

21. “What’s It Gonna Be?!,” No. 3, April 17, 1999

22. “Someone to Call My Lover,” No. 3, Sept. 1, 2001

23. “You Want This,” No. 8, Dec. 24, 1994

24. “I Get Lonely” (Janet feat. BLACKstreet), No. 3, May 23, 1998

25. “Scream” (Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson), No. 5, June 17, 1995

Source: Billboard.com

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://detne.ws/2ixVf3B