Janet Jackson and her husband Wissam Al Mana are expecting their first child together, according to Entertainment Tonight. Jackson’s pregnancy news comes shortly before her 50th birthday on May 16.
The youngest of Joe and Katherine’s children announced last month that she was postponing her Unbreakable world tour to start planning a family with Al Mana. It was not known at the time if Jackson was already pregnant or possibly planning to adopt.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Jackson Is Expecting Her First Child
Jackson, 49, and her husband Mana, 41, are expecting their first child together, a source confirmed to Entertainment Tonight. Both will be first-time parents.
The vastly private Jackson has not commented publicly about her pregnancy. She has spent the past few days on Twitter promoting her latest single “Dammn Baby” from her 2015 album, Unbreakable. Watch the lyrics video for the song above.
2. Jackson Postponed Her Unbreakable World Tour to Start a Family
Jackson chose to postpone her Unbreakable world tour so she and her husband could start planning a family. Doctors ordered her to “rest up” and she plans to continue the tour at a later date. Jackson made the announcement in a video posted to her Twitter on April 6:
We’re in the second leg of the tour and there actually has been a sudden change. I thought it was important that you would be the first to know my husband and I are planning our family, so I’m going to have to delay the tour. Please, if you can try to understand that it’s important that I do this now. I have to rest up, doctor’s orders. But I have not forgotten about you. I will continue to tour as soon as I possibly can.
Jackson previously delayed her tour to undergo emergency surgery in December 2015. She was scheduled for 55 more dates, starting in Las Vegas on May 14 and ending in Cleveland on August 28. The first leg of the tour kicked off in Vancouver on August 31 and finished with three concerts in Japan in November.
3. She Believed It Would Be ‘God’s Plan’ for Her to Have Children
Jackson has talked about having children for years, either of her own or through adoption. As far back as 2008, she was thinking of starting a family with her then-boyfriend Jermaine Dupri. She told Entertainment Tonight, “I would love to have children of our own, but we also would love to adopt. So, we’ll see what happens. It’ll happen someday.”
In 2010, she was still talking about having a family, but didn’t feel it was “essential” to her life at the time. Jackson told the Daily Mail:
Yes, at some point. I’d like to [have children]. But my view is that if it’s God’s plan for me to have children then it’s going to happen. I’m not panicking. It would be very, very sweet if I did have children. The icing on the cake. And I like sweet things. But it doesn’t feel essential.
4. Jackson Had a Public Feud With Her Michael Jackson’s Children in 2012
Jackson has shared a close relationship with all her nieces and nephews for the most part. When her brother Michael Jackson died in 2009, she was seen comforting her niece Paris Jackson after she broken down speaking about father at his public memorial service. The “Control” singer told the Daily Mail that she was the relative that all her siblings’ children came to with their problems.
I get texts and e-mails all day long from them… Aunty Janet this and Aunty Janet that. I’m the aunt that they come to when they think they’re going to get in trouble. You know, ‘I just got a tattoo, or a piercing. And my dad saw it last night and he wants to choke me! Can you talk to him, Aunty Janet?’
Three years after Michael’s death, his children accused their uncles and aunts, including Janet, of kidnapping their grandmother, Katherine Jackson. At one point, Janet was caught on camera calling Paris, then 14 years old, a “spoiled little bitch,” according to the New York Post. Her niece responded, “This is our house. Not the Jackson family house. Get the f–k out!”
Paris’ older brother Prince then sent a text message to several relatives, including his Aunt Janet again, who was referred to as “Janet Jackson” in his phone, and demanded he speak to his grandma. The text read, “This is enough so I am texting you for the simple fact that WE DEMAND TO SPEAK TO MY GRANDMA NOW!!!” Janet responded, “Don’t let them pls.”
5. Jackson and Al Mana Secretly Married in 2012 But Didn’t Let the Public Know Until 2013
Jackson and her husband Al Mana secretly married in 2012, but didn’t reveal their nuptials until almost a year later. She announced a wedding had taken place in a statement to Entertainment Tonight in February 2013.
The rumours regarding an extravagant wedding are simply not true. Last year we were married in a quiet, private, and beautiful ceremony. Our wedding gifts to one another were contributions to our respective favourite children’s charities. We would appreciate that our privacy is respected and that we are allowed this time for celebration and joy. With love, Wissam and Janet.
Jackson was previously married twice before saying “I do” to Al Man. She eloped with singer James DeBarge in 1984, but had their marriage annulled shortly after. She was married to her second husband, René Elizondo, between 1991 and 2000.