Janet Jackson has revealed that she suffered an “intense” battle with depression, which she linked to a childhood inferiority complex and societal racism and sexism. In an essay in the latest issue of Essence, a magazine geared toward African American women, the 52-year-old pop superstar said that she has found joy after giving birth to her first child last year. But the singer who became a superstar in her 20s with her blending of hip-hop into pop music and her elaborately choreographed live shows said that her 30s were “difficult years.”
“The struggle was intense. I could analyze the source of my depression forever,” she said, according to excerpts released Wednesday. “Low self-esteem might be rooted in childhood feelings of inferiority. It could relate to failing to meet impossibly high standards. And of course there are always the societal issues of racism and sexism,” she said. “Put it all together and depression is a tenacious and scary condition. Thankfully, I found my way through it.” The younger sister of King of Pop Michael Jackson, who also battled depression and anxiety, Janet Jackson returned with an album in 2015 and then abruptly suspended her tour.
She gave birth to her first child, Eissa, at an unusually late age and soon afterward announced her split with the boy’s father, her third husband Wissam Al Mana, a Qatari tycoon. Essence announced that Jackson would headline a festival affiliated with the magazine next month in New Orleans. She is also set to play later in July at Panorama, which is staged in New York by the promoters of Coachella, the major festival in California.