In the past decade, Janet’s career has taken a swift turn and the celebrity we were used to went into hiatus. Back in 2007, we had an ever-present Janet that was usually seen partying with music and movie stars. Following Michael’s death, she was visibly shaken, but still had a long tour – Number Ones, Up Close & Personal –, starred in some ads and still attended big events. After the tour wrap up in 2011, however, Janet practically vanished from the public eye. Her marriage to Wissam Al Mana was announced by herself several months later, in a rare statement to her fans, and she kept a low profile through most of the time until 2015, when she announced a new album and tour.
Janet’s absence from the media was so drastic that even a picture of her back in 2014 called the utmost attention of her fans. Public sightings were scarce, at some points inexistent, and this became a new asset for her management: everything about her became newsworthy. This led to an easy conquering of the charts with the release of Unbreakable in 2015. Not only was she a powerhouse diva, but the public was curious as to her whereabouts.
Differently from other artists who tell us what they have for breakfast, the ‘hiatus Janet’ was not into sharing much insight into her life. An occasional selfie with her husband, or best friend, or her Tour kids, but that was it. We were far from having little tidbits about her everyday pleasures. And that’s not to say Janet is not into social media, since she had interacted with her fans since the Rock Age of the Internet, and even had a vlog during the 20 Y.O. with Jermaine Dupri. Then again, this contrast has worked in her favor, and ‘hiatus Janet’ could turn a selfie into an event.
In our opinion, there was – and there still is – just a big mistake, and this will perhaps touch the hearts of the fans concerned with her legacy. Despite this public interest in Janet, her team could not fully capitalize on this due to the absence of her content on media platforms (such as streaming, like YouTube and Netflix). It is very difficult to have occasional fans watch your older concerts and music videos if they are not available on popular platforms, and the shortage of released material (except for albums) is a barrier that the younger public will have a hard time to overcome.
This might change with the release of her 10-episode series on Netflix, finally bridging the gap. We pray this will be the stepping stone for the proper distribution of her catalogue, hopefully including the release of her past tours, the upload of all her music videos to YouTube and remastering of her albums. If the rumors are true, ‘hiatus Janet’ is about to be a closed chapter, and we’re excited for what’s yet to come.