Janet Jackson shares throwback photo with Michael on death anniversary
Janet Jackson paid tribute to her late brother Michael Jackson on the anniversary of his death 14 years ago. On Saturday, the 56-year-old singer shared a throwback photo in which she was seen posing with the King of Pop, who passed away on June 25 from cardiac arrest at the age of 50. The That’s the Way Love Goes songstress captioned her post simply with a white heart emoji.
In the sweet snap, the siblings smiled while standing close to each other in a window against a city skyline. The music legend was seen wearing his trademark black fedora and a denim shirt while his younger sister had on a black tank top. Over the years, Janet (pictured at the Pre-GRAMMY Gala in 2020) has honored Michael’s memory on many occasions including yearly Instagram posts to mark his August 29 birthday.
However, she has acknowledged that she and the 15-time Grammy Award winner had a complicated relationship. In her Janet Jackson docuseries that aired on A&E and Lifetime earlier this year, the star explained that she and Michael were extremely close as children but began to drift apart in later years. The All For You hitmaker, who was the youngest of ten siblings, said that she, Michael and brother Randy Jackson shared a special bond when they were growing up.
‘We were close, Randy, Myself and Mike – we were like the three amigos – the three stooges,’ Janet recalled. Despite their close relationship during childhood, the Poetic Justice actress said she felt a sting when Michael used to make fun of her weight. ‘There were times when Mike used to tease me and call me names. “Pig, horse, slaughter hog, cow,”‘ Janet said. Pictured: The Jackson family film a TV show in California in 1976. From left to right: Randy, La Toya, Marlon, Janet, Michael, Jackie, Rebbie and Tito.
‘He would laugh about it and I’d laugh too, but then there was somewhere down inside that it would hurt,’ she confessed, explaining that ‘When you have somebody say you’re too heavy, it affects you.’ Janet traced her weight issues to her days as a child star when she acted on the iconic sitcom Good Times in the 1970s. ‘I’m an emotional eater, so when I get stressed or something is really bothering me, it comforts me,’ she shared. ‘I did Good Times and that’s the beginning of having weight issues and the way I looked at myself.’
Janet said that she and Michael ‘started going our separate ways’ during his meteoric triumph as a solo artist. Thriller was released in November 1982, when Michael was 24 years old and Janet was 16, and became the best-selling album of all time. ‘I remember really loving the Thriller album, but for the first time that’s when I felt it was different between the two of us, that a shift was happening,’ she said. Pictured: The siblings in their younger years.
‘He would always come in my room and we’d talk, and this particular time, he came in my bedroom. Neither of us said a word to each other, and then he got up and left.’ Janet revealed: ‘That’s the time Mike and I started going our separate ways. He just wasn’t as fun as he used to be.’ By the time the 1990s rolled along, they worked together on a song called Scream – but were often kept apart during the shoot of the music video. Pictured: Janet and Michael in 1993.
‘Michael shot nights, I shot days. His record company would block off his set so I couldn’t see what was going on. They didn’t want me on set,’ she revealed. ‘That really hurt me because I felt I was there fighting the fight with him, not to battle him. I wanted it to feel like old times between he and I, and it didn’t. Old times had long passed,’ Janet remarked. Pictured: Michael and Janet Jackson pose for a photo at their Hollywood Hills home in December 1972 in Los Angeles.
The singer also looked back ruefully on the ‘frustrating’ career knocks she suffered for standing by Michael in the 1990s when he was accused of child molestation. ‘We have our own separate lives and even though he’s my brother, that has nothing to do with me,’ Janet insisted, adding: ‘But I wanted to be there for him, to support him as much as I possibly could.’ Coca-Cola withdrew from a deal they were percolating with Janet – a move she now refers to as ‘Guilty by association.’ Pictured: Michael Jackson, with sisters LaToya, left, and Janet, leave the courthouse during a lunch break in a pretrial hearing in Michael Jackson’s molestation case in Santa Maria.
Although Michael was acquitted in 2005, the allegations have persisted in the public sphere, including in the 2019 docu-series Leaving Neverland. Pictured: Michael in London in 1996.
However, Janet shared that she and her brother had a touching final conversation the last time that she saw him before his death. She remembered that the moment took place while they were both in attendance at a surprise party for their parents Joe and Katharine. She said, ‘He was sitting next to me, and he was laughing like crazy and he had that deep laugh and I remember him looking over at me…and the last thing we said to each other was “I love you” and that was the last time I saw him.’ Pictured: Michael and Janet at the Grammy Award Ceremony in 1993.