Although the lyrics of “What About” describe situations that aren’t the same as this year’s reckoning of sexual assault and sexual harassment, it wasn’t a stretch to assign an abundance of vile male behavior to the dancer as he received Jackson’s message.
How did the audience know the personal relevance of “What About”? Jackson concluded the song by saying, “This is me.”
The forceful statement arrived as one of a handful of onstage remarks by Jackson, who lived in Gary, Ind., for the first few years of her life.
“I have to tell you, it feels so good to perform for my home state,” she said near the end of Sunday’s show.
Jackson returned to Gary, where she and her iconic siblings lived in a house roughly the size of a two-car garage, following a Chicago tour stop in October. Speaking to students at Roosevelt High School, the 51-year-old talked about the February birth of her first child.
“Every doctor told me it wasn’t possible. But I’ve got a beautiful, healthy son,” Jackson said.
Youth provides one theme for Jackson’s “State of the World” tour. Despite an overall assessment that things aren’t great, a new generation can bring change.
Jackson performed 1990 chart-topper “Escapade” with two female dancers who resembled high-school students pulling the best job-shadowing assignment ever.
And Jackson deserves all credit for radiating youth at 51. She’s breezy, fit and holding onto a teenager’s bold attitudes.
Minimalism defines the “State of the World” production. Jackson began the night wearing black military boots and she steamrolled through more than one medley of hit songs.
The sound mix was far from finessed, so it was great to hear Jackson sing the melodies of “Control,” “What Have You Done for me Lately” and “Pleasure Principle” back-to-back-to-back above her rough-edged band.
A satellite stage or some type of catwalk would help the show keep pace with other modern productions as well as bring Jackson closer to her fans.
She clearly was at ease during the show’s middle segment, when she wore a denim jacket and track pants covered by a flannel shirt.
This part of the program delivered the highlight of her latest studio album, 2015’s “Unbreakable.” With assistance from rapper J. Cole via video, Jackson navigated the seductive beats of “No Sleeep.”
An audience estimated at 8,000 attended the show, making it a smaller event in the arena’s 2017 parade of blockbuster concerts starring Garth Brooks, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, Billy Joel and Lady Gaga.
Jackson last performed in Indianapolis in October 2001, a wait made even longer by canceled plans between then and now. Her 2011 concert at the Indiana State Fair didn’t happen in the wake of the fatal stage-rigging accident the night country-pop duo Sugarland was scheduled to perform.
Sunday’s show originally was set for January 2016 and then pushed back again from July 2016.
With a performance as strong as Sunday’s, there’s no reason we won’t see her again on an Indianapolis stage.
Jackson closed the show with “Well Traveled,” an “Unbreakable” selection inspired by her life’s countless adventures: “I never want to arrive. Because if I ever reach there, there’s no place left to go.”
She’s in the midst of a divorce from Qatari multi-millionaire husband Wissam Al Mana.
But it was a noticeably happy and smiling Janet Jackson who touched down in New York on Monday.
The singer was bringing baby Eissa home to America for the first time since his birth in London back in January.
The Escapade singer was 50 when she welcomed the now six-month-old, who is her first child.
And from her behavior as she strolled through the airport, it was clear Janet has taken to motherhood.
The doting mother carried her child in her arms, holding him close to her face as she reassured the inquisitive youngster with kisses and caressed him after the long transatlantic flight.
Dressed all in the black, Janet looked noticeably slimmed down.
She is currently in the midst of a divorce from Eissa’s father and previously said the divorce was ‘in God’s hands’.
Janet said: ‘I just want to keep it real with you guys for a second. Yes, I separated from my husband, we are in court and the rest is in God’s hands.’
And it was previously claimed Janet is leaning on her family following her split from Wissam.
An insider said: ‘As the babies of the family, they have an unbreakable bond. She trusts him more than anyone.
‘They are amicable. Janet hates mess just like Michael [Jackson] did and would have preferred to keep the split as quiet as possible … She couldn’t stay in the marriage.’
However, it is thought Janet still has a ‘strong friendship’ with Wissam despite their split.
The source added: ‘Janet really trusts Wissam and he trusts her. She and Wissam are working together to co-parent. They have a strong friendship. There is no fighting between them. They are very disciplined and the baby is already on a strict schedule.
‘It seems like she will stay in London for now while the baby is so young, but I can see her eventually moving back to the States. Janet is doing really well. She is just so happy to have her baby.’
Finally the time has came, Janet went to twitter and gave us a glimpse at little baby Eissa and he is so so so adorable! Janet, your baby is beautiful and we wish you all the love and joy god can give you, he is precious! We love you!!
Take a peek at baby Eissa, Looking like mommy!!
She is in the throes of a split from husband Wissam Al Mana, but Janet Jackson looked happier than ever as she emerged for the first time with her baby boy Eissa.
The singer, 50, who gave birth to her first child three months ago, beamed with pride as she strolled around a London park on Wednesday.
She gazed adoringly at her baby boy as she pushed him in a high end Stokke pram accompanied by a female companion.
She was dressed in an all-black tracksuit and matching sneakers.
The Rhythm Nation star separated from her Qatari billionaire husband of five years earlier this month.
Sources now claim that cultural differences took a toll on their relationship.
‘Wissam wanted a wife who stuck more with the Muslim traditions,’ a source told Us Weekly.
‘She felt like she couldn’t be herself anymore,’ shared the insider. ‘She couldn’t settle down and be what he wanted her to be. Janet wanted more freedom.’
The source added: ‘Janet felt hidden away from her family. She missed them.’
Since the news of her marriage split, Janet has been seen a couple of times in London after being somewhat out of the limelight during her marriage.
‘It’s really unusual to see her out of the house because she hardly seems to venture out at all,’ a source told People Wednesday.
‘Apart from a few people, she hasn’t really had any visitors,’ the source added. ‘After the baby was born, Wissam was at the house all the time, but in the past month, he’s barely been there at all.’
However, on Tuesday Wissam was seen arriving, along with his entourage, at the townhouse he shared with the star.
He delivered two huge bags of toys, as well as a number of balloons, before leaving the mansion with a bag and a suitcase and being driven away in a chauffeured car.
The sister of the late Michael Jackson wed Al Mana, reputed to be worth more than $100 million, in 2012 and their son was born on January 3.
It’s been reported that the couple’s pre-nuptial agreement stated that a substantial financial payout would only be payable if the marriage lasted five years.
Since it’s believed that they wed in early 2012, Janet cold now be entitled to a substantial chunk of Al Mana’s fortune.