Janet Jackson Covers Essence Magazine’s Happiness Issue

Janet covers July/August 2018 issue of Essence Magazine

Janet Jackson is all about positivity. The music icon graces the cover of Essence’s July/August issue, which is all about happiness.

Instead of doing a traditional interview as a cover story, Jackson decided to pen a heartfelt essay to black women titled “Letter From My Heart.” In the transparent letter, she reveals herself like never before. She talks about lessons she learned from her childhood to adulthood, including her early struggles with depression, low self-esteem and failed relationships to her eventual growth as an artist, discovery of peace and learning to “fully embrace God’s love.”

Here are excerpts from the letter:

In Her Childhood: “I was happy when my brothers came home from performing on the road. I was happy when my mother lavished me with love. But I wasn’t happy with the way I looked…”

In Her Teens: “Happiness came when people asked me to perform…but I was happiest when I was pleasing others and not myself. An older and wiser Janet might have said, ‘True happiness is knowing you’re doing the best you can…’”

Photo Credit: Essence

In Her Thirties: “These were difficult years, when I struggled with depression. The struggle was intense. I could analyze the source of my depression forever. Low self-esteem might be rooted in childhood feelings of inferiority. It could relate to failing to meet impossibly high standards. And of course there are always the societal issues of racism and sexism. Put it all together and depression is a tenacious and scary condition. Thankfully, I found my way way through it…”

Today, at 52: “Now the height of happiness is holding my baby son in my arms and hearing him coo, or when I look into his smiling eyes and watch him respond to my tenderness. When I kiss him. When I sing him softly to sleep. During those sacred times, happiness is everywhere. Happiness is in gratitude to God…”

The July/August issue is now on newsstands. Next up, Jackson will headline the 2018 Essence Festival on Sunday, July 8 in New Orleans.

Keithan is the founder/editor-in-chief of Rated R&B

Exclusive: Sade Bandmate Says New Album is in the Works

Sade is one of the few artists who can take a lengthy hiatus, drop an album, steal the show and take another break. The singer started her first disappearing act after she took eight years to release a follow-up to 1992’s Love Deluxe. After releasing her album Lovers Rock in 2000, Sade wasn’t heard again until 2010’s Soldier of Love.

It’s been eight years now, and Sade still hasn’t fully emerged from her music slumber to bless us with a new full-length album. She did, however, tease us with an original song (“Flowers in the Universe“) contribution to Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time soundtrack. Although, official solo music could be coming soon.

Sade’s longtime collaborator and famed British musician Stuart Matthewman — who is an original member of the band — exclusively tells Rated R&B, “We’re working on a new album.”

Matthewman says Sade and their creative team currently have “a bunch of songs” that eager fans will hear once they’re satisfied with the final product. “When we’re happy, then we’ll let everyone else hear it.”

Like his comment in a previous interview with Rated R&B, “It might sound funny but we write and do music to please ourselves and just hope that [we] have good taste and other people will like it.”

Matthewman says Sade’s label home, Epic Records, respects her artistry and doesn’t pressure the release of new music. “The record company knows there’s no point in nagging us or giving us deadlines. It doesn’t really help the process,” he says.

While other artists are content with releasing music more frequently to remain in the limelight, Matthewman says, “[Sade’s] not interested in the fame or any of that [other] stuff. She likes to put out art. So when it’s ready, it will come out.”

Matthewman tells a funny, yet relevant story that perfectly sums up the expected time frame for Sade to drop new music. “Years ago, I think it was when ‘By Your Side,’ the song came out, and big posters were stuck around New York. Someone sprayed or wrote on top of it, ‘Bitch sings when she wants to.’ Sade loved it.”

Jorja Smith Announces ‘Lost & Found Tour’

Jorja Smith enjoys being on the road. The British singer-songwriter will support her debut album Lost & Found with her second headlining tour of 2018.

Smith will launch the 18-date fall tour in Seattle on November 19 at Showbox Sodo. From there, she will perform in San Francisco, Dallas, New Orleans, Atlanta, Baltimore and New York. The tour will end on December 19 in Toronto at Rebel.

“I’m excited to be heading back to North America in November & December for another headline tour. Can’t wait ♥🔥,” Jorja shared on Instagram.

Last month, Smith released her first full-length studio album Lost & Found.

Tickets go on sale starting Friday, July 13 on her website.

Check out the full itinerary below.

Jorja Smith Lost & Found Tour Dates
November 19 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox SoDo
November 20 – Vancouver, BC @ Orpheum Theater
November 21 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Ballroom
November 23 – San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield
November 26 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
November 29 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren
December 2 – Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater
December 3 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk
December 5 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
December 6 – New Orleans, LA @ Republic NOLA
December 8 – Nashville, TN @ Cannery Ballroom
December 9 – Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle
December 11 – Washington, DC @ The Fillmore
December 12 – Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live
December 15 – New York, NY @ Hammerstein Ballroom
December 16 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues Boston
December 18 – Montreal, QC @ Mtelus
December 19 – Toronto, ON @ Rebel

JoJo on New Album: ‘I Just Want to Be as Raw as Possible’

A new JoJo album is on the horizon. The singer chopped it up with Sway Calloway of MTV’s TRL to share details on her upcoming project.

After recapping a photo-opt with Anderson.Paak, Thundercat, and Raphael Saadiq, JoJo said she is in the beginning stages of her new album. She told Sway, “We’re getting the dream team together.”

For the artistic direction of the new work, JoJo told Sway, “You know how hip-hop has influenced my life. I really want to bring that to the forefront of this project and make sure that it’s interwoven throughout this entire project.”

She continued, “I want to write in a way to where I’m being completely transparent to where it speaks particularly to young women. I want it to be hard. I want beats to be hard and I want the content to be real. I have nothing to hide and I just want to be as raw as possible.”

The forthcoming untitled LP will be JoJo’s first full-length release since 2016’s Mad Love, which featured appearances from Remy Ma, Alessia Cara and Wiz Khalifa. The new album is expected to be released on her new label imprint Clover Music alongside Interscope Records.

JoJo wrapped up her Leaks, Covers and Mixtapes Tour in late June.

Send this to a friend