Janet Jackson releases steamy “No Sleeep” video featuring J. Cole

24 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Inside Janet Jackson’s Comeback Gamble and the Hurdle of the ‘Aging Diva’ Stereotype.

The pop star debuted the video for “No Sleeep” Friday on the “Today” show, with Jackson tweeting her fans, “I hope u enjoy watching this as much as we enjoyed making it.” The clip features Jackson having a chill time as she hangs out at a swanky mansion.Janet Jackson recently announced plans to release her first new studio album since 2008’s “Discipline,” and on Friday morning, the pop superstar unveiled a video for its lead single. She’s already announced a world tour and a new studio album—her eleventh—and Friday morning she debuted the first video for a song off that album. The 49-year-old star is rocking the curly hair reminiscent of her iconic “Janet”-era videos, such as “That’s The Way Love Goes.” Besides rocking her classic ’90s style, Jackson is shown singing in front of a wall illuminated with photos from her childhood, including a baby photo of herself with her dad Joe Jackson.

A single version of “No Sleeep” — which does not feature Cole — was released on June 22 and has risen to No. 5 in its second week on Billboard’s Adult R&B chart. No matter how little her talent might diminish, under the spotlight’s glare, critics gleefully count wrinkles and listen for pitchy vocals in a way that rarely happens with male artists.

J.Cole, who guests on the track, also puts in an appearance in the video – actually several appearances, as multiple versions of the singer pop up in the house as Jackson looks on with a smile. The opportunity to be creative in music and every form of entertainment has great potential here.” An announcement about the album was also posted to Vimeo. “I promised you’d hear it from my lips, and now you will,” Jackson’s voice can be heard saying in the clip. “This year: new music, a new world tour, a new movement. Britney Spears, 33, Jennifer Lopez, 46, Celine Dion, 47, and Shania Twain, 49, already have taken the Vegas route. (Granted, Cher at 69 seems immune, but she’s the exception to most rules.) Can Janet Jackson, at 49, avoid the syndrome?

And some of Cole’s lines—“You miss junk food/ that’s why we work/ You bring cooked food/ and I bring dessert”—seem to diverge oddly from the topic at hand. According to promoter Live Nation, 88 percent of the tickets on the trek’s first leg (Aug. 31 to Nov. 15) were purchased two weeks after going on sale; nearly 80 percent of the tickets for the second leg (Jan. 12 to March 9) were gone in two days. Why? “I think there’s a desperation to a lot of the older divas,” says Jon Cohen, evp of recorded music at BMG US. “They’ve got to hit it out of the park. This was completely calculated.” Indeed, initial talk of a “multiple Janet projects occurring simultaneously” goes back at least to 2010, according to one source who was working with Jackson at the time. Back then, she was managed by Kenneth Crear and it seemed that new music was imminent, having built up “so much good will” over the years that “you just had to mention her name, it didn’t even have to be anything of substance, and people would go ape-s—t.” But then, following a 2011 No. 1s tour, Jackson effectively pulled a vanishing act, marrying Qatari billionaire Wissam Al Mana in 2012 and shelving those very endeavors for what, to longtime fans, seemed like an eternity.

The model/businesswoman took a vested interest in Jackson’s career through Sterling/Winters, Jackson’s management company, which is owned by Kathy Ireland Worldwide and run by president/COO Stephen Roseberry. Sharing management duties are Jaime Mendoza and Jessica Davenport of JDJ Entertainment, who, as a group, negotiated with BMG to lock down a recording budget for Jackson (to the tune of at least $500,000, according to an insider) along with a sizable marketing spend. Reid laid out the lay of the land: For Carey “to even be on the radio at this point in her career is a huge accomplishment,” he said. “Because radio doesn’t cater to veteran artists or legends. She’s one of the most successful artists in pop history, having sold some 20 million albums in the SoundScan era, which began five years after her 1986 breathrough, Control.

BMG, which is providing marketing and promotion while the singer retains ownership of the recordings, declines to reveal specifics about Jackson’s licensing deal, but an insider familiar with the company’s contracts says BMG tends to favor “small-money, short-term deals.” In Jackson’s case: no advance but an attractive back-end (a 50/50 split). The investment saw the singer through the last seven months of round-the-clock production with longtime collaborators Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis for an album that is eyeing a late September release. Janet was very fair about the deal.” It’s about the long view, says former Virgin president Phil Quartararo, who has a hand in steering Jackson’s current career path as a member of her extended “team,” and that means life for an artist beyond the “pop silo.” Jackson, he says, “has had such a vast career in music, TV and film; she’s not your average pop star.

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