Despite speculation to the contrary, it doesn’t take much to get people talking about Janet Jackson.
The 50-year-old Unbreakable superstar and soon-to-be mom has been mostly keeping a low profile since, as noted by the Inquisitr, first announcing that she was “starting [a] family” with husband Wissam Al-Mana back in April. Nevertheless, when she does make contact with her beloved fan base, known as the “JanFam,” the ruckus surrounding her responses often becomes as notable as the message itself.
Such is the case with Jackson’s latest Twitter post from this past Saturday, where she warmly thanked her fans for their unwavering support and love as she readies to deliver her first child.
— I Heart Hair, Inc. (@ihearthairinc) October 19, 2016
“Hey, you guys,” Janet expressed. “It’s been a while, but I’m still listening. I feel your love and prayers. [I] thank you and I am doing well.”
She closed out the message with the Arabic line, “Al-hamdu lillāh;” a phrase that translates to “praise be to God,” and also unintentionally loans credence to rumors reported through MSN that she converted to Islam several years prior.
Hey you guys.. It's been awhile.. but I'm still listening.. I feel your love and prayers.. Thank you.. and I'm doing well.. Al Hamdu lillah
— Janet Jackson (@JanetJackson) November 19, 2016
Within hours of Jackson’s Twitter status becoming public, a mass of media outlets — from Perez Hilton to US Weekly, E! News and even Emirates Woman — covered the short, but sweet social media reach-out, and treated it as front-page news. To say that it was quite the feat somehow shortchanges the actual impact, but considering the way the entertainment world has continuously negated Jackson’s reach and influence, it also serves as a bit of comeuppance toward her many naysayers.
— JanetJacksonFan74 (@tdroberson74) November 20, 2016
For example, gossip queen Wendy Williams has repeatedly taken Jackson to task on The Wendy Williams Show for what she feels is an overstayed welcome in the entertainment industry. About five months before Janet released Unbreakable, her eleventh studio album, Williams remarked that new music from the pop icon would not help to retain her success.
— Wendy Williams (@WendyWilliams) May 6, 2016
“She wants to put out new music but nobody bought the music last time,” Wendy stated, as mentioned by the Daily Beast. “I think that this comeback is going to be impossible. She’s [now] living in a Beyoncé/Rihanna/Taylor Swift world. The music-buying public barely buys and they’re young kids, they’re not us with mortgages and tuition.”
Fast forward to October 11 that year, when Unbreakable would not only help Janet garner a seventh no. 1 Billboard album, but also allow her to become the third-only female in music history to achieve the feat repeatedly within the last four decades (those previous toppers include: 2008’s Discipline, All For You in 2001, The Velvet Rope in 1997, janet. in 1993, the socially-conscious Rhythm Nation 1814 in 1989, and Control, the first LP recorded outside of father Joe Jackson’s managerial skills, in 1986).
Additionally, even when she’s not actively working on new tunes, her reach still can’t be ignored. With assistance from the Induct Janet campaign, a fan-created movement founded by Mike Litherland, Jackson received, as reported by People, her second Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination in October of this year. Mind you, this was a privilege that came about without so much as a whisper regarding the Rock Hall from anyone connection to the possible inductee, including Jackson herself.
Truth be told, it’s hard to work out a definitive reason why people keep trying and failing to erase Janet Jackson from the blueprint and path that she created for other artists, but once again, she’s proven that she can, as she would say, keep the conversation going.
Whether she is performing on-stage, soothing music listeners through the microphone, or just sending out a quick tweet to tell the world that she’s “gon’ b’ alright,” the impact and relevance of Janet Damita Jo Jackson is still just as strong — and unbreakable — as it ever was.
[Featured Image by Steve Lovekin/Getty Images]