Janet Jackson’s Life Story: Successful Career, Failed Marriage, and Long-Awaited Motherhood

Janet Jackson has had a full life with an established career and beautiful family life, but it hasn’t been without its fair share of challenges.

Pop diva Janet Jackson started her career at the age of 7 and has since grown to become a prominent figure in the music and movie industry. The international icon has been regarded as one of the best-selling artists in contemporary history with several awards. 

However, the 54-year-old’s personal life has been filled with up and downs, characterized by her failed marriage and her long journey to motherhood. Keep reading to find out more about her life.

Janet Jackson at Milan Fashion Week on February 25, 2014, in Milan, Italy. | Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

EARLY BACKGROUND AND EDUCATION

Janet Jackson was born into a celebrated musical family to Katherine Esther and Joseph Walter Jackson on May 16, 1966, in Gary, Indiana, as the youngest of nine siblings.

She grew up in the richness of the showbiz family. Her older brothers had already begun performing together as The Jackson Five by the time she was born. The pop star attended a public school in Encino, California, for a while before changing to Valley Professional School, from which she graduated in 1984. 

Janet Jackson at the R&B Awards with her father Joe Jackson and sister LaToya Jackson (left) on February 4, 1983, in Los Angeles, California. | Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

RISE TO FAME AND CAREER

Janet made her skywalk to fame at age 7 when she was first seen on stage alongside her brother Randy, during their family’s Las Vegas Act. Two years later, she made her television debut on “The Jacksons,” and her stellar performance put her on producers’ radar.

At 10, Jackson began a sitcom acting career where she starred in the role as Penny Gordon Woods in “Good Times.” She starred in several sitcoms, like “Different Strokes,” “A New Kind of Family,” before her music break came.

In 1982, Janet released her debut self-titled album with the help of her older brother Michael Jackson. The album went on to sell 250,000 copies and ranked No. 84 on the charts. However, her subsequent album, “Control,” defined her music career and proved her to be a musician in her own right.

American singer Janet Jackson, circa 1990. | Photo by Tim Roney/Getty Images

The album broke records selling eight million copies and bagging three Grammy nominations and nine American Music Awards—winning just two. Janet made a historical event with her brother Michael with the hit track on the collection, “When I Think of You,” as they became the first siblings to have a number one song as soloists.

Janet won her first Grammy Award in 1987 and also enjoyed worldwide recognition and acclaim in the 1990s during the release of some of her albums,” Design of a Decade” (1995), “Rhythm Nation” (1989), “Janet” (1993). “The Velvet Rope” (1997) and “All for You” (2001). 

Michael Jackson with sisters LaToya Jackson (L) and Janet Jackson exit the Santa Maria courthouse for a break during the evidentiary hearing in the Michael Jackson child molestation case August 16, 2004, in Santa Maria, California | Photo by Ed Souza-Pool/Getty Images

During her iconic Super Bowl Halftime performance with Justin Timberlake, a wardrobe malfunction that resulted in her right breast being exposed caused a scandal. Her later albums included “Damita Jo” (2004), “20 Y.O.” (2006), “Discipline” (2008), and “Unbreakable” (2015.)

Jackson also has movie credits to her name such as “Poetic Justice” (1997), “Why Did I Get Married?” (2007), and its sequel, “Why Did I Get Married Too?” (2010).

The Six-time Grammy award winner and music icon is also the author of a New York Times Best-seller, “True You: A Journey to Finding And Loving Yourself.”

Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake perform during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXVIII at Reliant Stadium on February 1, 2004 in Houston, Texas | Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

HER ROCKY MARRIAGE TO WISSAM AL MANA 

After a longtime relationship with producer Jermaine Dupree and Michael’s tragic death, Janet found love in the arms of Wissam Al Mana. 

She met with the Qatari billionaire, Wissam Al Mana, in 2010 at a hotel opening in Dubai, and they both sailed the boat of love months after. In 2012, the couple had a secret marriage, which led to some significant changes in Janet’s lifestyle.

According to reports, the “Love Will Never” crooner abandoned her trademark sexy lifestyle and began dressing conservatively, following Mana’s religion.

Janet Jackson attends the “Made For Now” release party at Samsung 837 on August 17, 2018 in New York City. | Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images

Four years into the union, Janet announced she was pregnant with son Eissa and, in January 2017, welcomed him, shocking the world. However, fans were more surprised when she announced her separation from Al Mana four months later. Speaking about their rocky union, a source said:

“Wissam is a very strong-minded individual and can come across being hard-headed and judgmental at times. Janet started not to feel comfortable around her husband. While she was pregnant, Wissam caused stress on Janet, and it affected her stress level.”

Wissam Al Mana and Janet Jackson attend the John Galliano Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2011 show during Paris Fashion Week at Opera Comique on October 3, 2010 in Paris, France. | Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Her brother Randy also made it known that their marriage “was quite an abusive situation,” explaining the emotional abuses she was faced with within her home. 

Before Mana, Janet had two failed marriages to James DeBarge and Rene Elizondo Jr.

Wissam Al Mana and Janet Jackson attend Kira Plastinina’s fashion show on October 25, 2012 in Moscow, Russia. | Photo by Gennadi Avramenko/Epsilon/Getty Images

HER LONG-AWAITED JOURNEY MOTHERHOOD

The 52-year-old singer has lived her life as a singer, songwriter, and actress, but she finds greater joy in motherhood. In 2016 at age 49, Janet announced that she and then-husband Wissam Al Mana are expecting their first child. This was both a delightful and saddening news to her fans because she had to delay her Unbreakable World tour.

In January 2017, Janet welcomed her first child, a son named Eissa Al Mana, and ever since then, she seems to be enjoying her new love life with him. 

Janet Jackson on stage during The Fashion Awards 2019 held at Royal Albert Hall on December 02, 2019, in London, England. | Photo by Lia Toby/BFC/Getty Images

It was undoubtedly a dream come true for the “Poetic Justice” star who once spoke about her wishes to have kids in 2009, saying that if it were indeed her destiny to have kids, God would grant her one.

Jackson does not plan to leave the industry soon, thus learns to balance her work life with motherhood. Janet has led a successful career and now finds peace with her vibrant toddler.

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