» 2018 Billboard awards video + photos
» Behind the scenes billboard photoshoot
» Janet Jackson Is at 'Peace' Holding Son Eissa: 'In Those Moments, All Is Right with the World'
» Janet Jackson Goes Deep on Her Early Challenges, Upcoming Music & the Joy of Motherhood
Behind the scenes billboard photoshoot

OMG She is adorable! And such an inspiration to us all!! Check out the behind the scenes of the billboard photoshoot and photos below.

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Janet Jackson Is at ‘Peace’ Holding Son Eissa: ‘In Those Moments, All Is Right with the World’

Janet Jackson has fully embraced her newest role: parenthood.

The pop superstar welcomed her first child, son Eissa, with now-ex Wissam Al Mana in January 2017. And in an exclusive new cover story with Billboard, Jackson gives a rare peek inside her life as a mom — including which musician little Eissa first exhibited an affinity toward.

“Bruno [Mars] was really the first music my son responded to,” says Jackson, 52, who will receive the Billboard Icon Award Sunday before picking up her State of the World Tour again with an appearance at New Orleans’ ESSENCE Festival on July 8.

“During and after his birth, I comforted myself with Brazilian jazz, music that always relaxes me,” she adds. “Then when the baby began crawling, Bruno was breaking out big and on the radio all the time. That delighted both of us.”

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Jackson says that her baby boy, even in his short time on Earth, has already taught her how much love she truly has to give, as well as how far it has the potential to reach.

“[He] has showed me that love, no matter how deeply you believe you have experienced that emotion, can always go deeper. Love is limitless,” she explains.

“And for someone like me, raised in show business where self-concern is always a priority, how fortunate I am now to be concerned, first and foremost, with the welfare of someone else,” adds the “Rhythm Nation” singer.

Like many working parents, Jackson had the challenge of squeezing sleep into her schedule early on — something that actually ended up being to her benefit.

“It wasn’t anything I was going through,” she says of her song “No Sleeep,” which came out before Eissa was born. “You could say, though, that I might have been anticipating sleepless nights.”

Continues the star, “I’d also add that sleepless nights, no matter how tiring, are some of the times that I do my best writing.”

The owner of a decades-spanning successful career (“The drive is in my DNA,” says the youngest of her famous siblings), Jackson shares that becoming a mom is where she has found “peace” in her life.

“Day after day and night after night, holding my baby in my arms, I am at peace,” she says. “I am blessed. I feel bliss. In those moments, all is right with the world.”

Janet Jackson Goes Deep on Her Early Challenges, Upcoming Music & the Joy of Motherhood

Janet Jackson remains the same, in many ways, as when we first met 29 years ago, while she was shooting the “Rhythm Nation” video at a power plant in Pasadena, Calif. She was 23. For hours, I watched her perfect the paramilitary moves of a thrilling dance exhorting the world to break the color line. She was fierce. At the end of the day, I was invited into her trailer, where she had changed from a take-charge black uniform to oversize jeans and loose white T-shirt. Here, she was hardly fierce at all. Instead, she was reticent, even timid. She was so soft-spoken that I had to lean in to make out her words. She was uncomfortable speaking to a stranger and, with elaborate politeness, made it clear that the shorter the interview, the better.

This was three years after the massive success of 1986’s Control — her first Billboard 200 No. 1, now certified five-times platinum by the RIAA — and I expected at least a little self-satisfaction or swagger. There was none. Her success almost seemed like a source of embarrassment. Speaking about her private life and professional accomplishments was obviously painful. So instead, we talked about music — by other people. Joni Mitchell, Sade, Nina Simone. She glowed at the mention of Marvin Gaye, whom she called “our John Lennon.”

As Jackson slowly revealed the seriousness of her artistic vision for Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 and its precedent in work like Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life, her ambition became obvious. In her whisper-quiet way, she articulated the grandeur of her artistic dreams. Her confidence, deep and steely strong, was wrapped in a remarkable sweetness.

Nearly three decades later, having just turned 52, her passions are unchanged: pursuing grand artistic endeavors while protecting her privacy. Her self-effacing demeanor — still sweet, still barely audible — defies even a hint of braggadocio, in spite of the achievements that have earned her the Icon Award at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs): No. 1 albums in four consecutive decades; roughly 32 million albums sold in the United States, according to a Billboard estimate (based on RIAA certifications, Nielsen Music data and archival reports); 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including 10 No. 1s; and on and on. Yet for all the consistencies of character, the Janet I’ve encountered recently is undoubtedly changed, in large part because she’s now a mom.

Our recent discussions begin in December 2017 in her spacious Midtown Manhattan apartment. Before we start talking, she tenderly bathes, powders and eases her 1-year-old son, Eissa, into a peaceful slumber. (Jackson married Eissa’s father, the Qatari businessman Wissam Al Mana, in 2012, and the two separated in early 2017.) Wildly in love with the child asleep in the next room, she’s now freer with her feelings. She laughs more frequently and with greater abandon. And although the artistic ambition I sensed when we met decades earlier is intact, there’s now an eagerness to reflect on that ambition.

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