To her fans, Janet Jackson would appear to have emerged from an especially taxing year. The pop star just marked the one-year anniversary of brother Michael's death and, last year, ended her relationship with longtime boyfriend Jermaine Dupri. But despite her personal trials, Jackson recently revealed that she's in a good place in her life.
"It took me a good minute to get here, it really did. But I love my life," Jackson tells Essence in the August issue hitting newsstands July 12. "I only wish I had this confidence when I was younger."
Although Jackson may have lacked confidence in her early years, the hitmaker maintained that she has no qualms about aging; an outlook the Jackson family matriarch, Katherine, instilled in her and her celebrity siblings.
"Mother always raised us to believe that age was just a number. All of us — my sisters, my brothers — we'll just tell you our ages because it's all about where you are mentally and how you feel about yourself."
Perhaps Jackson's attitude is also influenced by the new inroads she's making in her career. The diva has ramped up her acting work in recent months, pulling off an emotional performance in "Why Did I Get Married Too?" Jackson is also scheduled to begin shooting the star-studded "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf," helmed by Tyler Perry, and with such co-stars as Whoopi Goldberg and Kerry Washington.
The megastar also relished her overall independence. "I'm so fortunate. I'm a free agent. I'm not trapped in a contract where I'm unhappy," Jackson said. "I'm very free, and I love this feeling. I can do whatever I want."
And while Jackson may not be committing to any recording projects just yet, she isn't shying away from the stage. The singer is slated to perform at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans this weekend. Jackson will hit the stage alongside several acts, including Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige and Trey Songz.
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