Will Jackson's 'Discipline' Be Her Breakthrough?


"The album expresses what I need to express at this moment of my life," she said. "It says that discipline, rather than being a problem, can bring pleasure. Discipline is a key to freedom. Discipline allows me — allows all of us — to focus. And the focus must be on thoughts and feelings that nourish our physical and spiritual lives."

Jackson's Declarations

The last time Jackson made a declaration, it ignited her singing career and sent her sales into the stratosphere. 1986's "Control" also helped her get out from behind the shadow of older brother, Michael Jackson, and etched her mark permanently on pop culture.

"My first big album also had a one-word title — 'Control.' I was naïve in thinking that I could control every aspect of my life." Jackson said.

"The only one who really has control is God. But it took discipline — the discipline of thought, the discipline of action, the discipline of creating music — to make me see that. Finally, discipline has to do with faith. I have faith that a gentle but steady discipline will let me continue to grow as an artist and a woman."

The Evolution of Janet

Nearly all of Jackson's growth as an artist, actress and person has been scrapbooked by media. The Gary, Ind. native initially gained recognition as part of the expansive Jackson clan. The youngest Jackson was known for being shy, but it didn't stop her from appearing on the family's variety show, "The Jacksons" in the mid '70s.

From there Jackson headed into television, becoming a cast member of the "Good Times" for its final two seasons.

"As a child, I took it for granted. That's who I was. As a teenager, I wanted to sing and dance. I realized that required concentration. I wanted to reach people, and I had the good sense to see that couldn't happen if my skills weren't crafted with precision," Jackson said.

She moved on to the 1980s popular sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes" as a teen before her singing career overshadowed her acting resume.

"Janet was really the full package when she came out. She came out on stage. She was a dancer. She was a singer," Maerz said.

Still, she has continued to balance both and recently starred in Tyler Perry's 2007 hit movie "Why Did I Get Married?" She nabbed a NAACP award for the role this month.

It seems the five-time Grammy Award-winner entire career disciplined her for her latest record.

"As I came into adulthood, I was hard on myself. Discipline is one thing; perfectionism is another. Perfectionism is a kind of punishment. It leads to permanent dissatisfaction and heartbreak. It's wonderful to strive for excellence, but demanding perfection only leads to heartache and frustration. It took me years to learn that difficult lesson. But in finally learning it," Jackson said.

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