Janet Jackson opens up about depression

NEW YORK • 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 towards African-American women, the 52-year-old pop star said 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 her 30s were "difficult years".

"The struggle was intense. I could analyse the source of my depression forever," she said, according to excerpts released on 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 them 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 - returned with an album in 2015, then abruptly suspended her tour.

She gave birth to her first child, Eissa, at the age of 50 and, soon afterwards, announced her split with the boy's father and 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 next month at Panorama, which is staged in New York by the promoters of Coachella, the major festival in California.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2018, with the headline 'Janet Jackson opens up about depression'. Print Edition | Subscribe