Minutes before ringing in her 49th birthday on May 16, Janet Jackson shocked fans worldwide by announcing her long-awaited return to the spotlight. After shutting down comeback rumours last August, the "All For You" singer released a cryptic 30-second audio clip teasing, “ New music, new world tour, a new movement.”
— Janet Jackson (@JanetJackson) May 16, 2015
Hinting at a new recording akin to Rhythm Nation – an album that saw her delve passionately into socially conscious territory – Janet also gave a subtle shout-out to the humanitarian-focused Twitter hashtag #ConversationsInACafe, saying, “Let the conversation begin.” And it’s a conversation her friends and fans are eager to have.
Janet made a quiet exit from the music scene following 2008’s Discipline and an abruptly canceled world tour resulting from an undisclosed illness, emerging only after the sudden death of her brother, King of Pop Michael Jackson, to perform their hit single, "Scream,"at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. “I know he was watching. I know he was looking down,” she said post-performance. “I hope he enjoyed it.”
Though it’s been seven years since Janet’s last studio album — during which time the star has focused heavily on her philanthropic endeavours, including contributions to amFAR and a collaboration with The Trevor Project — her fans have remained steadfast in their devotion, even cleverly filing a faux missing persons report for the singer , which she says was funny and “too sweet.”
Dating back to her third studio album, 1986’s Control, Janet has captivated the public with her sharp choreography, political awareness and fierce femininity — inspiring today’s pop set in the process. “Bow down,” raves Britney Spears. “Rhythm Nation? I still listen to that!”