Five-time Grammy Award winner Janet Jackson returns to South Africa again – she was here in 1998 – and this time she has opted for a more intimate setting during her two-city Up Close and Personal tour in November.
Interestingly, it was at the urging of her fans during her tours of Asia, Canada, the US and Europe, that convinced Jackson to visit our shores.
In terms of the feel of her show, think along the lines of Elton John’s The Million Dollar Piano concert at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, or any of Adele’s concerts, where someone in the audience feels as if she is singing just to them in the room.
Unlike in her other concerts, Jackson will only belt out tracks from her Number Ones album. In this way, she ensures that no two shows are ever the same. And there will be no special effects either. It will have a very personal feel.
Recently seen in Tyler Perry’s critically acclaimed movie, For Colored Girls, the singer has also been busy promoting her new book, True You, which chronicles her struggles with weight and self-esteem issues.
On her tour to South Africa, Jackson said: “These concerts are different from anything I have ever done. I will be as up-close-and- personal as possible. These concerts are not about special effects. This is a love affair between me and those of you who have supported me and my work for all these years. I’ll be singing and dancing from my heart.
“In both cities I want to meet 20 young leaders who are changing their communities for the better. I’m asking my fans and their friends, parents, relatives, neighbours and teachers to nominate five people to qualify as one of the 20 (under-20) in each place I will perform. At each concert the 20 people chosen and the person who nominated them will be VIP guests at my show. I will invite the 20 sponsors and the 20 winners to the concert and backstage. There are many young people changing the word and I want them to be recognised during my tour.”
Showtime Management’s Tony Feldman said: “It is a major coup to have an artist of Janet Jackson’s quality performing in such an intimate environment. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see one of the world’s greatest artists performing all her No 1 hits and experience it in small theatres and arenas. Janet is known for her energetic performances and on this tour fans will get to see her trademark dance numbers as well as her ballads with some additional surprises.”
Accompanied by a troupe of dancers, a five-piece band and three back-up singers, Jackson’s concert promises to captivate with classic hits like What Have You Done For Me Lately?, Let’s Wait a While, That’s the Way Love Goes, When I Think of You, If, Again, Go Deep and Together Again on her set list.
One reviewer commented: “The King of Pop, Rock and Soul may have left the building – but music’s royalty reigned supreme when another member of the monarchy graced Singapore as a stopover for her Number Ones, Up Close and Personal world tour. In the absence of Michael, it’s safe to say it’s about time to hail the reigning queen of pop, rock and soul.”