'You never know what's going on in the person's mind': Janet Jackson on the woman she is now

·2 min read

At 56, Janet Jackson is still in control.

In a recent interview with Essence, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer reflected on her enigmatic career, as well as common misconceptions people have about her and the unorthodox ways she stores her Grammy awards.

"It's really the body of music touching people … It's not the accolades. I honestly don't think about that stuff," Jackson said of her ambivalence over awards — none of which even have a place in her house.

"I've never been that person to have my awards on display," she said, adding that her measurements for joy come in a much cuter package.

"Being able to wake up and see my baby another day … that's success," she said, noting that while she doesn't completely disregard her awards, which are stored at a warehouse, her purpose for them is singular: "I'm just saving them for my baby, whatever he wants to do with them."

Despite the mentions of her baby, Jackson, as one of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, has somehow managed to keep her personal life personal — even through years of public scandals and controversies by association.

But that leaves a lot of room for speculation, something the Why Did I Get Married? star has dealt with for the majority of her professional career.

"When it comes to my personal life, I think mistaking my kindness for weakness," she said, has been a common misconception people have about her; professionally, though, she faces a different challenge.

"When it comes to my professional life, I would say it would have to be not liking to hear the word 'no' Especially being a woman, and someone telling you, 'No, you can't because…,'" she said.

Now, 36 years post-Control, Jackson has new insights on who she is today and how others see her.

"Sometimes, when you see what’s in front of you and you think one thing may be happening, something totally different is going on behind the scenes," she said. "I know that’s so vague. I know. I’m not saying that what you’re seeing now is not me — but you never know what’s going on in the person’s mind."

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