Twenty years ago, Janet's breakout album Control and her single "Nasty" topped the charts. Today she says she doesn't feel a day over 20...and she's performing the hit song for Oprah's audience! Give her a beat!
"I was upset ... [that] I wasn't able to portray this character, more than being upset that I had to gain all this weight and then turn around and lose it—because I had to lose it regardless after [filming]," Janet says.
Janet says carrying the extra weight on her 5'4" frame was "very uncomfortable."
"It was a lot of weight on my joints. The only time I felt okay is when I was sleeping because I was lying down. So when I would get up, my ankles would swell all the time and my knees would hurt."
Seeing her own reflection was also difficult, Janet says. "I didn't want to get used to the person that I would see in the mirror. I didn't want to, because it's very easy to get comfortable in that weight and [enjoy overindulging]."
Janet credits her four-month transformation to nutritionist David Allen and trainer Tony Martinez. Janet drastically cut her food intake, but to keep her metabolism going strong, she ate frequent, small meals of vegetables and lean meats. She also worked out five or six times each week, combining strength and cardiovascular training.
Janet's rockin' new bod is now on magazine covers everywhere—but two years ago, her body made headlines for another reason.
The halftime show with Janet Jackson was billed as an event that would be remembered for years to come—and was it ever. For the grand finale, Justin Timberlake sang "I'm going to get you naked by the end of this song," and he did just that—ripping Janet's bustier and exposing her breast, naked except for a large sunburst-shaped ring.The incident sparked a firestorm of controversy that swept across the country. The Federal Communications Commission received more than 500,000 complaints and CBS was fined $550,000.
Oprah wants to know—was it planned?
"No," Janet says. "What people don't understand is, he was to rip the piece off that he did, but more came off than what was supposed to. ... It was a very embarrassing moment."
Janet says she can't believe her breast caused global interest. "There was so much more going on in the world that was so much more important," she says.
Twenty-four hours after the Super Bowl, Janet issued an apology, which she's since said she regrets making. "Management that I had at the time, they thought it was important that I [apologize]," she says. "Before I sat down to record the apology, I had said to them, 'Why am I apologizing for an accident?'"
"Well, all the emphasis was put on me," she says. "Not on Justin. And Justin—we were friends. Not that we aren't now. We haven't spoken. But I consider him a friend, and I'm very loyal and friendship is very important to me."
Justin recently talked about the incident on MTV. He said, "I probably got 10 percent of the blame. I think America is harsher on women ... and I think America is unfairly harsh on ethnic people."
Janet says she does think people were too harsh on her. "They did put all the emphasis on me, as opposed to us. And I have to say, just to let people know, that Justin has reached out [to me]. We haven't spoken, but he has reached out to speak with me. Like I said, friendship is very important to me—and certain things you just don't do to friends. And in my own time, I'll give him a call."
Does Janet feel Justin left her hanging? "To a certain degree," she says, "yeah."
In addition to her friends and family who helped during the difficult time following the Super Bowl, Janet is grateful to boyfriend, Jermaine Dupri.
"I feel it's unconditional love," Janet says. "I love everything about him. He's just real, very real, and very loving. I'm truly happy."
Janet and Jermaine say they want children together soon! "Many children?" asks Oprah. "One child?"
Janet's new CD, 20 Y.O., refers to the 20th anniversary of her breakout album, Control. It was also 20 years ago that she fired her father, Joe Jackson, as her manager.
Janet says her decision to take control of her career actually improved their relationship. "Our relationship has gotten better. That was one of the hardest things for me to do," she says, "And I cried profusely."
Janet says she can remember their talk as if it were yesterday. "My parents were in the upstairs den," she says. "I was still living at home. I told them that I needed to talk with them—Mother was in there as well—and I just let him know exactly how I felt, and that it was time for me to move on. He didn't take it very well."
"He was upset," she says, "but he didn't yell at me. ... "I think he [knew] it was inevitable."
Now Janet says the sibling she's closest to changes from time to time. "It switches," she says. "It could be one person for several months and then another person for several months. I would say right now it's Jermaine."
Oprah wants to know—does Janet talk to Michael? "No, I haven't spoken to him," she says, "since the trial."
In June 2005, after a three and a half month child molestation trial, Michael Jackson was acquitted on all counts. Janet says the trial "took its toll on [her] entire family."
Michael is currently living in Bahrain, an island nation in the Persian Gulf, with his children Prince, Paris and Michael. "Do you worry about him?" Oprah asks. "He keeps in touch with Mother," Janet says, "so we know what's going on with him."
For the first time, Janet performs "So Excited," from her new CD, 20 Y.O.!