Ms. Janet Jackson is ready to shine bright like a diamond this year – a black diamond, that is.
The global music phenom has revealed that she is coming out with her first album in almost five years. Black Diamond, already the most talked-about studio release of the decade, will serve as the follow-up to Ms. Jackson’s noteworthy 2015 effort Unbreakable.
Much is still not clear about this forthcoming album, besides the fact that the iconic entertainer is slated to hit the road on a lengthy summer tour to celebrate its release.
Though The Black Diamond World Tour hasn’t yet been postponed or canceled due to the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we still have our own expectations as well as concrete details about Ms. Jackson’s highly-anticipated album.
Editor’s note as of August 18, 2021: The Black Diamond World Tour was postponed due to the global pandemic.
Here’s what we rounded up about Black Diamond so far.
When will Black Diamond be released?
Jackson has been tight-lipped when it comes to the official release date of Black Diamond. But in an in-studio interview On Air with Ryan Searcrest in February, the icon hinted that fans will be able to listen to the album in full “before the end of this tour.”
Once again, Jackson plans to drop an album in the middle of a tour. When Jackson released Unbreakable, she announced the Unbreakable World Tour ahead of time and played multiple dates before the album dropped.
Even if The Black Diamond World Tour is delayed in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the million-dollar question still remains: Does Jackson mean that fans can expect to hear the new music before the North American leg of the tour ends or in the midst of the European run?
Editor’s Note: As of August 18, 2021, Black Diamond has not been released. She appears to be still recording new music, thanks to a photo she uploaded in the studio earlier this month.
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What has Janet Jackson said about Black Diamond so far?
For her 12th studio album, Jackson has added another level of significance to Black Diamond.
In her surprise tour and album announcement on social media in February, the pop superstar revealed the powerful meaning behind her upcoming album title.
“Black Diamonds are the toughest of all the diamonds, the hardest to cut,” she wrote. “I see that as the hardest to hurt or destroy. There is a lot that I have endured. I see myself as a Black Diamond in its purest form. I’m a rock, I have ruff edges but I keep moving forward. I want to show you my strength as well as give you strength.”
Is Black Diamond an extension of Unbreakable?
It’s already clear that Black Diamond will seemingly be Jackson’s most personal yet. It’s also fair to say that this forthcoming album will have nuances of Unbreakable that play into its theme.
Jackson’s impending album title is a direct nod to her previous album title and title track: being unbreakable just like a black diamond.
Much of Unbreakable is an honest take on the good and bad that Jackson has seen and experienced in her life and career to that point. But according to her Black Diamond statement, Jackson appears to have much more stories to share on her new work.
Now that former CBS head Les Moonves, who allegedly tried to tarnish Jackson’s career after her infamous wardrobe malfunction during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime set, is now being called out about rumored sexual allegations, Jackson may finally feel vindicated to share her side in great detail on this upcoming record.
Will Janet Jackson’s new album feature music inspired by her son?
Black Diamond is Jackson’s first album since giving birth to her son Eissa. When she released Unbreakable, it was her first full-length release since the death of her brother Michael Jackson.
On the latter album, Jackson was able to beautifully tribute Michael on tracks like “The Great Forever,” where she embodies his timeless vocal phrasing. She also reminisces about them growing up together and promises to see Michael again in the next life on the sentimental “Broken Hearts Heal.”
If the death of Michael impacted her music on Unbreakable, it’s hard not believe that Jackson could use her new music to honor Eissa on Black Diamond. It will also be exciting to hear how motherhood has shifted Jackson’s artistry this go around.
Could Black Diamond pull some inspiration from Rhythm Nation?
For the past year, Jackson has been showing mad love to her landmark album Rhythm Nation – from her Metamorphosis shows in Las Vegas to unleashing a mega collection of the LP’s remixes on digital platforms for the first time.
The path-breaking album celebrated its 30th anniversary last September, and Jackson plans to keep the celebration going on The Black Diamond World Tour with a special performance.
Also, her imprint is called Rhythm Nation, indicating that this album means a lot to Jackson.
Not to mention how the color black plays a significant role with both albums. From the forthcoming album title (Black Diamond) and bold fashion choices of this new era, this dark color, which indicates power and status, was noticed back in 1989 on a track (“Black Cat”) and in most of her wardrobe then, too.
Since releasing Rhythm Nation, Jackson has never stopped being shy about lending her voice to address social issues happening around the world. Having seen many devastating tragedies play out across the world since her last album, Jackson may feel strongly to speak out on Black Diamond – but in a freshly artistic way.
What songs have been released so far?
At this time, Jackson hasn’t released any official material associated with her upcoming album.
Back in August 2018, Jackson teamed with Daddy Yankee for her upbeat track “Made for Now.” The song landed Jackson her 20th number one hit single on the Billboard Dance Clubs Songs chart. But it’s unclear if the Harmony Samuels-produced cut will be included on Black Diamond.
Samuels also hinted in August 2018 his involvement on a mysterious EP from Jackson. “I worked on most of the EP,” Samuels exclusively tells Rated R&B. “Each song has a different feel. Each song has a different style. She bodies it! She does her thing.”
It’s not confirmed if the material from those sessions evolved into the album or was it scrapped in favor of an album.
If it’s any consolation, Jackson is still cooking up a masterpiece for her fans. Days after sharing the new album bulletin, she posted a photo of herself on Instagram in the studio recording new music.
Editor’s note as of August 1, 2021: Jackson shared a new photo on Instagram of her seemingly recording new music. Perhaps for Black Diamond.
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Is Black Diamond destined to make chart history?
Jackson has a chance to make history if Black Diamond debuts at number one on the Billboard 200.
The icon could become the first artist to reach the top spot on the popular albums chart in each of the past five decades: ‘20s, ‘10s, ‘00s, ‘90s and ‘80s.
Jackson will also break her tie with Barbra Streisand and Bruce Springsteen as the only three acts to have number one LPs in the last four decades: ‘10s, ‘00s, ‘90s and ‘80s.
Streisand, however, has topped the chart in the last six decades: ‘10s, ‘00s, ‘90s, ‘80s, ‘70s and ‘60s.
Let’s just hope Springsteen or Streisand don’t get inspired to release a new album anytime soon.
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