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Tag: Janet Jackson (1-9 of 9)

Janet Jackson's 'Rhythm Nation 1814': Still dancing and dreaming 25 years later

Like serialized television and comic-book movies, R&B is in the midst of a golden age. As ambivalent as I am about Beyoncé’s work, her influence cannot be overstated, and her sequined coattails have been long enough to support an incredible wave of exceptionally provocative albums from next-in-line voices both female (Jhené Aiko, FKA Twigs, Tinashe) and male (Frank Ocean, Miguel, the Weeknd).

The roots of this form of modern R&B can be traced back to Janet Jackson’s landmark album Rhythm Nation 1814, which turns 25 years old today. Though it’s a quarter century old, Rhythm Nation has barely aged—it sounds as rich and vital as it did when it was first released, and stylistically as contemporary as anything on the Billboard charts. READ FULL STORY

Who will Madonna have to top to be the best Super Bowl halftime show of all time?

This Sunday, in the midst of the war of attrition that will be Super Bowl XLVI, Madonna will roll her ridiculously ornate stage onto the field at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and attempt to blow some minds for eight or nine minutes.

Madonna can certainly do it; she has the requisite deep catalog of hits, a theatrical approach to performing, and enough bold-faced numbers in her iPhone to unleash some surprises. “Give Me All Your Luvin'” probably won’t get the job done on its own, though luckily she has “Vogue,” “Holiday,” “Ray of Light,” and “Like a Prayer” in her pocket.

So who will she have to eclipse to get mentioned in the greatest Super Bowl halftime performances of all time? The modern era of Super Bowl halftime shows began in 1991 with New Kids on the Block, though outside of Michael Jackson’s absurdly huge performance in 1993, the early years were somewhat lacking in spectacle.

Things get better at the end of the ’90s, but the real entry into the modern era came in 2001, when producers brought together Aerosmith, Britney Spears, *NSYNC, Mary J. Blige, and Nelly for a jam-packed over-the-top run through the current pop chart.

After the notorious Janet Jackson incident in 2004, focus shifted again, mostly to classic rockers going over their greatest hits. Some of those were terrible (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers), while others were merely underwhelming (the Who).

So who was the best? READ FULL STORY

Janet Jackson reschedules Australian tour to attend Conrad Murray trial

Janet Jackson is rescheduling part of her Australian tour so she can support her family during the trial of the doctor accused of involuntary manslaughter in her brother Michael’s death.

Dr. Conrad Murray is on trial in Los Angeles. He is accused of being negligent in his care of the superstar, who died in 2009 of an overdose of the anesthetic propofol at age 50.

The prosecution is wrapping up its case this week, and the defense is about to present its case. The Jacksons have been a regular presence at the trial; Janet Jackson was there at the beginning. READ FULL STORY

'Michael Forever': Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, Cee Lo Green, and Michael Jackson's children appear at controversial tribute show

Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, and Ne-Yo all performed at the controversy-plagued Michael Jackson tribute concert “Michael Forever” earlier today, according to the AP. Jackson’s three children — Paris, 13, Prince, 14, and Michael Joseph Jr., 9 — also appeared onstage to address the audience at the show, which took place in Cardiff, Wales.

Ne-Yo started the concert with a performance of “Billie Jean;” Jackson’s brothers Marlon, Tito, and Jackie tackled the Jackson 5 hit “Blame It On the Boogie” with British boy band JLS; and Christina Aguilera sang “Smile.” Meanwhile, Beyonce performed “I Wanna Be Where You Are” via satellite. The Jackson children returned to the stage for the finale, “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.”

“Michael Forever” had attracted criticism for a variety of reasons, including the fact that it was set to coincide with the manslaughter trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, who is accused of contributing to  Jackson’s death. Several of Jackson’s other siblings, including Janet, declined to take part in the concert and last week the Black Eyed Peas withdrew from the show, citing “unavoidable circumstances.”

Read more:
Troubled Michael Jackson tribute concert hits new snag with Kiss’s Gene Simmons
Jay-Z says wife Beyonce is ‘the second coming’ of Michael Jackson: Yes, he knows it’s blasphemy
Another year, another King of Pop tribute in jeopardy: Michael Jackson’s estate, brothers won’t support latest effort

Janet Jackson: 44 and still nasty during Number Ones show at New York's Radio City Music Hall

Not many artists so far removed from a hit record can fill up a venue as large as Radio City Music Hall. Nearly a decade has passed since Janet Jackson last topped the Billboard hot 100 singles chart (“All For You,” 2001). But there she was Friday night—hair short and slicked—in a sexy, tight gray jumpsuit singing to a packed house on the first of three nights of her Number Ones tour at the famed New York venue.

Oh, how easily we forget. Or perhaps it was just me… Janet’s got hits! Obviously, it’s called Number Ones for a reason. She has ten that have reached the No. 1 spot on the hot 100 during her career, 26 altogether in the top 20, and of those smashes several have ranked above all in their respective R&B and dance charts.

Jackson opened with her 1987 R&B chart topper “Pleasure Principle” and continued with a blitz of classics. Somehow I remembered the words to them all. As did my fellow fans, pausing from reciting lyrics only to squeal or hoot. “Alright,” “Miss You Much,” and  “What Have You Done for Me Lately” all came partnered with the crisp choreography from there ’80s videos. Her voice, both feathery and gruff at times, was strong all evening. There appeared to be no lip-syncing, which she’s often accused of.

In true Janet fashion, the show was sexually charged. READ FULL STORY

Janet Jackson's new video for 'Nothing': Watch here

janet-jacksonImage Credit: Quantrell ColbertJanet Jackson stars as Patricia Agnew in Tyler Perry’s new sequel Why Did I Get Married Too. She also performs the soundtrack’s lead single, “Nothing,” and today brings a new video for the airy ballad, on which she cries out for more communication in a troubled relationship.

Watch after the jump as Patricia attempts to make things work with her too drunk husband, destroys some furniture, and then has a good cry with her girlfriends.

Iyaz' 'Solo': total Janet Jackson rip-off, or loving tribute?

R&B upstart Iyaz has already scored a chart-topping smash with the sunny, Caribbean-flecked flashback ditty “Replay”; now he seems poised to do the same with new single “Solo,” a track that riffs on Janet Jackson’s 1993 no. 1 ballad “Again” without directly sampling either the main hook or re-upping the lyrics directly.

Instead, the song just lifts a substantial chunk of Janet’s lilting melody—stream it below:

Countless hooks in R&B and hip-hop are built, of course, on borrowing; you could say Iyaz is just aiming to compete a land of Jason Derulos (whose “Watcha Say” hinges entirely on Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek”) and Jay-Zs (his recent “Young Forever” transposes the title of the 1984 Alphaville song and recasts the hook with friend-of-Kanye Mr. Hudson). And maybe it feels unfair to call him out for not taking enough of the song to make it more than just naggingly familiar.

Iyaz’s publicity openly acknowledges the connection (though they say his song is “set against the backbeat” of “Again,” which isn’t strictly true), but it still feels a little squirrelly, especially considering many of the 22-year-old singer’s young fans probably aren’t familiar with Jackson’s nearly two-decade-old hit.

Undoubtedly, the song will put some residuals cash in Janet’s jumpsuit pocket, and also very likely save Iyaz from one-hit-wonderdom forever. So in the end, it mostly comes down to the listener: Are you bothered by the snake-eating-its-own-tail aspect of songs like these, or is this brand of recycling, as long as it acknowledges the source, just fair play?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

Mary J. Blige, Carrie Underwood, Janet Jackson, Keith Urban and more rock Friday's AMA rehearsals

After Thursday’s Glambert explosion on the American Music Awards rehearsal stage — you can read my interviews with the Idol star here — Friday’s run-throughs were going to have a lot of catching up to do. Turned out to be just your average day of superstars showing up to soundcheck their massive hits: Carrie Underwood kicked off the morning with a hot-pants-free, chair-intensive take on “Cowboy Casanova,” followed by Janet Jackson in a closed rehearsal that observers called pretty damn awesome — look for Ms. If-You’re-Nasty to open the show with one new song and a medley of old favorites. (When I asked if “Miss You Much” would be included in said medley, reps for the show didn’t say yes… but they didn’t say no. OMG OMG OMG.)


Janet Jackson single-handedly saves MTV VMA tribute to Michael Jackson

There’s no way MTV would have (or should have) presented the 2009 VMAs without a tribute to the late Michael Jackson, the man who perhaps more than any artist ever, raised the business of making music videos into a rare and delectable art form. But while I can’t be sure how it looked live from Radio City Music Hall, I found the opening three and a half minutes of last night’s celebration played somewhat tepidly from my living-room couch. The hyper-fast cuts of the MTV cameras and the presence of a giant video screen playing “Thriller,” “Bad,” and “Smooth Criminal” made it difficult to focus on the actual dancing taking place on the stage. Yeah, I realize that by playing MJ’s greatest hits in the background, we were able to see just how lovingly his choreography was being recreated right there on the VMA stage — and today’s yoots who may have been unfamiliar with Jackson’s oeuvre (gasp!) got a glimpse of his genius — but the overall effect left me wondering why MTV bothered with the live dancing at all. Seriously, why not just replay a highlight reel of Michael’s most iconic dances?

Thankfully, though, at the 4:15 mark, Janet Jackson came to the rescue, shattering through a safety glass screen to recreate that classic “Scream” dance-off with her big brother. The woman whose “first name ain’t baby” may not have been 100% in sync with the video screen behind her, but so what? She worked that stage harder than an underpaid assistant doin’ overtime, and as tributes go, this was as energetic as it was heartfelt. I predict “Scream” on repeat on my iPod as I head to work this morning.

What did you think of last night’s MJ memorial? Were you touched by Janet’s appearance? And did anyone else get a case of the eeries hearing the line “Oh my God can’t believe what I saw as I turned on the TV this evening” in the wake of Michael’s death?

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