Opening Up

Janet Jackson Defends Obama

If you thought that a very public family tragedy would keep Janet Jackson from doing what she does best, think again. The prolific singer with a knack for reinvention is about to come out with a greatest hits album, along with a book about her personal struggles with body image and self-esteem. “I think to this day, people view me as a very shy person,” said Jackson in a new interview. “I don’t think I’m shy. I’m just quiet until I get to know you.” Jackson cites a range of influences from Sammy Davis Jr. to Benny Hill in her work, and explained the pop-heavy tone of her new album, saying “I think people want escapism right now… it’s a sad world right now.” She also took the opportunity to defend President Obama: “Everyone wants everything to turn around immediately. It took us how many years to get to this point? People say, ‘His first 100 days in office, what has he done?’ You can’t do that to the man. It’s not going to happen tomorrow.” But on the recent death of her brother Michael, she was more reticent, saying “It will never be easy. It’s my brother.”