CD Hitting Stores on September 26th Now to Be Titled '20 Y.O.'
NEW YORK, July 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Janet Jackson has decided to change the title of her upcoming album from "20 Years Old" to "20 Y.O." at the suggestion of fans participating in an album cover design contest the R&B superstar is holding on Yahoo! Music.
On July 17th, Janet -- in conjunction with Yahoo! -- launched "Design Me" (http://designme.janetjackson.com) in which fans were able to download and "remix" images of the singer to come up with their own album covers. Four winners are to have their designs grace the first one million copies of Janet's new album. When several fans submitted designs with covers that read "20 Y.O." instead of "20 Years Old," Janet liked it so much, she decided to officially change the album's title. The CD hits stores on September 26th.
The design competition has stirred up anticipation for the music icon's new album, which executive producer Jermaine Dupri promises will "blow a new generation of minds" as it marks the anniversary of Janet's career-making 1986 album, Control. Janet has re-teamed with her original collaborators, legendary hit-makers Jimmy "Jam" Harris and Terry Lewis, and Grammy-Award winner Dupri to create a dynamic production trio. "20 Y.O." has been described as a celebration of what was going on musically back in the day when Control was released.
The first single from 20 Y.O. is the breezy, laid-back "Call Me," featuring St. Louis hip-hop star Nelly, which hit radio on June 19th and has already cracked the Top 40 pop chart and is a Top 15 track at urban radio. The video, shot by noted director Hype Williams, premiered on BET's "Access Granted" on July 26th. The video is also an AOL exclusive and in rotation at VH1, VH1 Soul Spotlight and MTV Hits.
Janet reveals in the upcoming issue of Essence Magazine that her and Jermaine Dupri are perfect sexual partners, Contact Music reports.
"I feel like I finally met my match," she tells the magazine, which hits newsstands soon and features Janet on the cover. "In relationships it was always the guy telling me, 'OK, hold on, wait a minute.' I'd ask my girlfriends, 'Aren't we supposed to be the ones who say, 'Wait, not tonight, I have a headache?'' This happened through two [marriages] for me. I thought, 'Something's not right here.' But with Jermaine, I don't have to say anything; he knows I'm ready. Any time, any place."
The following list represents the Billboard positions for "Call On Me" on each of the singles charts for the week ending August 5, 2006. These numbers reflect a spike in the song's performance due to its first week after being sold as a digital single exclusively at the iTunes Music Store.
"Call On Me": Hot 100: 63 to 25* Hot 100 Airplay: 26 to 24* Pop 100: 78 to 33* Pop 100 Airplay: 37 to 38 Hot Digital Tracks: Debuts at 23* Hot Digital Songs: Debuts at 26* Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks: 15 to 14* Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay: 15 to 14* Rhythmic Top 40: 22 to 21
While Janet and Jermaine Dupri are in London on a promotional tour, Dupri left a quick note for fans on Janet's official website with more details about the promotional push for Janet's upcoming album.
The "Call On Me" video will premiere in Canada on Thursday on both MuchMusic and CTV.
In the United States, Janet will soon be appearing on the following magazine covers: Vibe, Giant, W, FHM, Jezebel, Ok, Ebony, King, Sophisticates Black Hair, MovieLine/Hollywood Life, Hype Hair, Men's Fitness, Unleashed, Upscale, 944, Out, and In Touch. They will all hit stores before the album's late-September release date.
Also, Janet's second single will be posted on both Janet and JD's MySpace profiles on August 17. It had previously been rumored that "So Excited" would be the second single from Janet's new album, and rapper Khia repeated those rumors in several recent interviews, however last month Jermaine indicated in a posting on Janet's official website that the choice for the second single actually had not been finalized yet.
The rapper says his family was especially excited when it heard about his duet with Janet. "My family flipped out," he said. "They're definitely fans of the Jacksons. I grew up singing Jackson Five songs. My uncle put a little band together with all the kids, and I used to have to be Mike. This was a long time ago."
In describing the recording process, Nelly was glad to be a lot more involved in the collaboration than most artists do.
"I wanted to do something different. I just don't want to be, 'You do the song and I put the 16 [bars] on the end, or eight bars on the front,'" he explained. "With Janet, we went in, wrote the song out. It's not like they had the song done and said, 'Nelly, put your thing on it.' I'm happy it went that way because I feel more of a part of it. You can't take me off and still have a song."
EMI Germany has released the following press sheet regarding Janet's upcoming album, "20 Years Old."
Song titles listed in the sheet are "Call On Me," "So Excited," "With You," "Get It Out Me," "Stuck Inside The Groove," "Love 2 Love," "Daybreak," "Enjoy," "Take Care," and "Do It To Me."
Janet, "20 Years Old" EMI/Virgin Germany press sheet
"The idea is simple,' says Janet. "The idea is about looking forward, even as we look back."
"Twenty years ago," Janet explains, "Control was released. That's the moment when I made an artistic commitment to express just what I was feeling. These twenty years are the story of that artist growing up - changing, celebrating, hurting, healing, but always revealing my innermost soul. Now I'm celebrating those twenty years by pushing the envelope further. I'm moving in a new direction, a direction that embraces and builds on everything I've done in the past."
"I like to think that my future and my past meet in my present," Janet adds. "They merge to make me who I am. For half of my forty years on the planet, I've been an independent artist. For good or bad, I've made my own choices. That's a beautiful blessing. And this is a beautiful moment to consider where I've been, where I'm going and, most of all, where I am now."
In 1986, Janet Jackson exploded on the international pop music scene, enlisting Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis to help her gain Control. As a child and teen actress, she acted in a variety of sitcoms and TV dramas. Her dad managed her, and her first two albums, recorded in the early Eighties, reflected other people's vision of whom she should be.
In 1986, everything changed. She went to Minneapolis, co wrote with Jam and Lewis, and put her life in her songs. She emerged with an identity all her own--"Miss Jackson, if you are nasty," a spunky funky high-spirited force of nature: a seductive singer, an innovative dancer and a knock-out entertainer. The record went through the roof. And Janet's videos became the industry gold standard.
Three years later, Rhythm Nation upped the ante. Adding to Janet's feisty independence was something new: a fierce social conscience that addressed the issues of racism and societal intolerance. Janet laid it on the line, and the response was spectacular. The album produced a slew of #1 hits. She dominated the Grammys. And her Rhythm Nation tour, the first of her career, set box office records around the world. Her superstardom was firmly established.
The Nineties belonged to Janet. Her first record of the decade, Janet, widened her musical aesthetic to include the exploration of deep and lyrical sensuality. A Rolling Stone cover photograph quickly earned iconic status. With its wall-to-wall hits, Janet became the biggest record of her career. "Again," a #1 single from the album, was nominated for a Golden Globe and Academy Award.
Later in the Nineties, the Velvet Rope became the most introspective. Another runaway smash, it was time for Janet to fearlessly take her fans behind the Velvet Rope of her private thoughts, dreams and desires.
The new century produced two platinum-selling successes: All For You and Damita Jo, bold ventures into her unique style of autobiographical storytelling.
Six serious suites of songs over the span of twenty years. And that's not counting Janet's foray into films: her appearance with Tupac Shakur in Poetic Justice (1993) and Eddie Murphy in Nutty Professor 2 (1999).
"I'm proud that for twenty years people have responded to my work," Janet says reflectively. "I'm proud to have stayed in the game and survived. And I'm proud that I've remained true to myself. But if you go back and listen to the music, you'll hear how that self is always changing. And now the changes are probably more profound than ever."
The biggest change is that Twenty Years Old is no longer solely a Janet/Jam-and- Lewis production. For the first time in two decades, a new producer has joined forces with the famous team.
Enter Jermaine Dupri.
Janet doesn't mince words. "Jermaine is my soul mate, the love of my life and an incredibly gifted man. I've never felt so connected to anyone."
Like Janet, Jermaine was a child prodigy. At 14, he was already a successful performer/producer/writer. The acts he brought to prominence - Kris Kross, Da Brat, TLC, Usher, Mariah Carey, Bow Wow to name a few - have changed the course of pop music. Today he lords over Virgin's super-successful landscape of urban music and is among the most sought-after music minds in the world. He's considered the modern day Quincy Jones.
"Jimmy, Terry and I have been an established team for twenty years," says Janet, giving another meaning to the title of her current release. "Jermaine's attitude was, 'If it isn't broken, don't fix it.' He respected the magical rapport I had with Jam and Lewis. But he also felt he could add a new dimension to the dynamic. I felt that too."
What is that new dimension?
"It's something you feel rather than explain," Janet says. "It's an edge, an attitude, an exciting vibe that's assertive. It's about taking charge. It says, 'Here I am. I'm coming on. Musically, I have it. You want it. And I'm giving it to you."
What Janet gives us in Twenty Years Old is the extraordinary range of her talent. As she has done for the past two decades, she not only co wrote the songs but co produced the record as well.
The first single, "Call On Me," crafted with the irrepressible Nelly, is already a smash hit.
"'Call On Me,'" Janet explains, "symbolizes the Twenty Years Old concept. It contains elements of the past - a Jam and Lewis melody from the old-school SOS song 'Show Me' - together with Jermaine's brilliant beats. And of course Nelly is wonderful. I also love the message: Find the right love and never let him go."
Janet views "With You" as another simultaneous look forward and back. "'With You' reminds me of 'Let's Wait Awhile,'" she says, referring to the hit from Control in which intimacy is provocatively postponed. "Now, though, the act has happened and the result is romantic confusion," adds Janet. "Romantic confusion can be painful, but it also makes for rich musical material. Like everyone, I've had my share of romantic confusion. The key, though, is to turn confusion to creativity. The key is to move ahead."
Twenty Years Old moves ahead, even as it borrows from hip hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa in "Get It Out Me," a song that, according to Janet, deals directly with freakery.
"The freak within," she explains, "must find a way out. The kind of music I like - the kind of music I love to make - taps into that magical motion from fear to freedom. Breaking chains. Loosening inhibitions. Melting doubts. Embracing life."
"John Mayer, one of my favorite new artists, is sampled on 'Stuck Inside the Groove,' a song that still sticks with me like a mantra, a dancing meditation on sensuality."
"Although these jams feel fresh," says Janet, "I keep hearing echoes of my past: 'Love 2 Love' takes me back to 'Velvet Rope.'
"'Daybreak' takes me back to 'Escapade.' It also takes me back to my teen years when I was still living at home with my parents. I'd sneak out at night to see my boyfriend and wouldn't come back till daybreak. Those early memories still carry heat. They glow with the brightness of young life and new adventures. I still feel the fire burning.
"'Enjoy' is a song that reminds me to enjoy the moment and live in the Now. Tomorrow isn't promised. All we have is today. Friends have called 'Enjoy' Classic Janet.
"They've said the same about 'Take Care,' a story about missing that special someone and realizing that self-pleasure can be a creative and powerful release.
'Do It To Me' is the flip side of the same coin, where pleasure is a two-way street and desire is expressed openly, with neither hesitancy nor shame."
"'So Excited' is how I feel about this entire project," Janet says in her quietly enthusiastic way. "I'm excited that Jimmy and Terry and I have worked together for so long and so well. I'm excited that Jermaine, who is my heart, has added his own genius to the mix. I'm excited to mark an anniversary of an artistic career that has been my life and my joy. And I'm excited - and so lucky - to have fans whose devotion has sustained me over two amazing decades."
Looking back, looking ahead and looking at today, how does Janet view the differences between Control and Twenty Years Old?
"The one difference," she's quick to say, "is that now I know I am not in control. God is. When I was young and eager to grab the reins, I naively thought control could be attained through willpower. I believed we could determine our own destinies. Life has taught me otherwise. I still believe we can determine our destinies, but only through God. Only with God. It's faith that gets us through, and faith that sustains us. These twenty years have been beautiful because my faith has grown. There have been triumphs and heartaches, victories and losses and every sort of challenge. No matter what path any of us take, there are bumps in the road - sometimes potholes, sometimes even sinkholes. But we don't have to sink, we don't have to fall off course if our faith is strong. It comes down this: Believe in the God of love and, no matter the circumstance, God will see you through."
"So twenty years after Control," Janet concludes, "I've turned control over to the invisible source of all creation, the One whose energy is endless."
Single, "Call On Me" - 25.08.2006 (Germany) Album, "20 Years Old" - 22.09.2006 (Germany)
Pictures and an audio podcast from Janet's interview with Teapot Tim's Hot 99.5 in Washington DC on Thursday, which aired on Friday, can be downloaded from the Hot 99.5 website. Most will agree that the interview was one of the most amusing of her recent radio tour.
The only new details revealed in this article is an answer that Janet gave to an inquiry about whether this album would contain the same type of sexual material as on past albums. "I enjoy talking about it," she replied. "It shouldn't be any different from before."
The newspaper reports that when Janet was asked which song from "20 Years Old" will be the next big club anthem, Janet replied: "If I get my way, and I always do, it'll be a song called 'Clap Your Hands.'"
Confirmed new song titles so far are: "Call On Me," "So Excited," "Stuck Inside The Groove," "This Body," "Enjoy," "With U," and "Clap Your Hands." It is unknown whether all of these songs will appear on the new album.
While in Washington DC yesterday, Janet also did interviews with XM satellite radio, which should air throughout the day on XM radio.
Also, according to a post by Jermaine Dupri on Janet's official website, Janet will be in Atlanta today and will be on V103 at 12:30 PM, and then on Hot 107.9 at 1:45 PM ET. Then later this afternoon she will have another press junket for other local Atlanta media outlets.
UPDATE: JD has made a couple of corrections to his original post. Janet will be on Hot 107.9 at 1PM, and she will be on V103 at 2PM. Then she is having another press junket at 3PM at the Four Seasons in Atlanta.
"I'm working with Janet Jackson on her new album. I actually have the second single off of her new album. The song is called 'So Excited.' She was a pleasure to work with and her personality is really cool."
BET's 106 & Park will air a clip of the "Call On Me" video on its Friday episode, according to a post made by JD on Janet's official website. 106 & Park airs on BET at 6PM ET/PT.
As was previously reported, the full video will premiere during an episode of BET's Access Granted on Wednesday, July 26 at 7:30 PM ET/PT. Commercials for Access Granted will begin airing on BET tomorrow.
The following list represents the Billboard positions for "Call On Me" on each of the singles charts for the week ending July 29, 2006. These numbers reflect the song's chart position based on airplay only. Beginning on next week's charts, sales from digital downloads on iTunes will be included in its chart position as well.
"Call On Me": Hot 100: 60 to 63* Hot 100 Airplay: 29 to 26* Pop 100: 70 to 78 Pop 100 Airplay: 35 to 37 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks: 16 to 15* Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay: 16 to 15* Rhythmic Top 40: 23 to 22*
Janet's US press junket schedule is as listed below. She will be visiting these various listed cities and will be meeting with multiple local press and radio outlets as well as doing "invitation only" meet and greets on these dates.
July 20: Washington DC July 21: Atlanta August 2: Chicago
Janet is also scheduled to do press in Europe during the last week of July, however that schedule is currently unknown.