Janet revealed this afternoon on Twitter that she will be visiting Abu Dhabi on Saturday to attend the Grand Prix Ball to support fresh2o, a charity initiative dedicated to raising awareness for issues of access to safe and clean water.
Proceeds from an auction that will occur at the ball will benefit the organization.
This will be the first time Hales has worked with Janet. He is a graphic designer and music video director from the United Kingdom and has directed music videos for artists such as the Veronicas ("Everything I'm Not"), Scissor Sisters ("Kiss You Off"), Snow Patrol ("Open Your Eyes"), Justin Timberlake ("LoveStoned/I Think She Knows"), Nine Inch Nails ("Starsuckers, Inc."), and Gnarls Barkley ("Crazy," "Smiley Faces").
Producer Rodney Jerkins spoke with MTV.com to discuss Janet's upcoming album, due early next year:
Janet Jackson Recording Up-Tempo Dance Album
'I'm still gonna keep the beats hard underneath 'cause she's still a dancer at heart,' says producer Rodney Jerkins.
By Matt Elias Oct 22 2009 3:55 PM EDT
When we caught up with producer Rodney Jerkins on the VMA red carpet in September, he was already hard at work on Janet Jackson's next studio album. Now the super-producer is opening up a lot more on exactly what fans can expect for Janet's 11th studio album.
"Janet is like my sister now," Jerkins told MTV News on Wednesday (October 21) at his Los Angeles recording studio. "We definitely have this incredible chemistry, this bond - I think we musically connect, crazily. I knew it - it's funny 'cause I predicted this. Five years ago, people used to ask me who I wanted to work with, and I was like, 'Janet Jackson.' And I was so passionate about that because I've always been a fan of her music and what her and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis have done in the past. And I felt like, knowing she wants to try new things, that I feel I can get it and I can deliver it for her," he said.
DarkChild explained that fans can look forward to an emotionally driven album.
"Since we've been working ... I feel like the studio has become a second home for her because with the whole situation with Michael [Jackson] happening, and I feel like right now, emotionally, she can come here and let all her feelings out. I got her writing again - she has the pen and the pad in her hand."
But it's not just the recent passing of her brother Michael that is fueling the content of Jackson's album. Fans are going to see a side of Janet that they've never seen before, thanks in part to Rodney's persuasion.
"You gotta understand, she lost her brother. She was in a relationship for seven years that's over now. There's things that she told me that I didn't even realize. You know, certain [things] like self-esteem that I didn't even realize that she dealt with for years that you know. ... She's working on her book and she'll deal with that in her book, but also in songs, certain songs we're dealing with that head on. And sometimes it can be a touchy subject for us to even go into, and I kinda had to persuade her, 'Let's just go, let's talk about that.' And she's been doing it, and she's a pro about it."
Although Rodney says you can expect some up-tempo dance tracks on the new album, it won't have the futuristic sound we heard on her last project, 2008's Discipline.
"It's funny, 'cause when we just started the project, she was like, 'I wanna do 10 dance records, all up-tempo to dance. Let's just go dance,' " Jerkins said. The sound is inspired by worldwide influences, from African rhythms to Brazilian and Latin music, and RJ said we can expect features on this album like a Pitbull track that was recorded last week.
"But she hits me today and she says we need to do some mid-tempos as well," Rodney continued. "And I'm glad for that because there's a time when you listen to a record that you wanna mellow out and she always gives us those great smoothed-out mellow records. So now that she's in that zone, it's like 'Yes!' 'cause we can focus on that. But I'm still gonna keep the beats hard underneath 'cause she's still a dancer at heart."
Jenkins and Jackson co-produced her recently released single, "Make Me," which will be included on her greatest-hits compilation Number Ones, due in November. A release date has not been announced for her yet-untitled studio album.
The international track listing for Janet's upcoming greatest hits album will contain two additional songs that do not appear on the US version of the album: "When I Think of You (Morales House Mix UK 7")" and "Whoops Now."
The international track listing was revealed on the websites for UK music store Play.com and also on the UK entertainment news website Digital Spy.
Both of the websites also include an image (shown here at left) of what appears to be the album cover for the international edition, however whether this is the official album cover has not yet been confirmed. The photo of Janet used in the image is from a 2001 photo shoot that was used in the tour book for the "All For You Tour."
As was reported earlier today, Janet's upcoming greatest hits album will be released under the titles of Number Ones in the US and internationally as Janet Jackson: The Best.
Universal Music Enterprises today sent out the following press release to announce Janet's upcoming greatest hits compilation, Number Ones.
The release confirms the previously announced November 17 release date in the US and reveals a November 23 international release date.
The international edition of the album will be titled Janet Jackson: The Best.
The press release spells the album's title as "Number Ones" and not "#1's" as it was previously being referred to.
Janet Jackson's Greatest Hits Celebrated on NUMBER ONES
Two-CD Package Also Features Brand-New Single 'Make Me' In Stores November 17
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Janet Jackson has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, and is one of the best-selling artists in contemporary music. For the first time ever, 33 of Janet's global #1 hits, plus the newly recorded single, "Make Me," will be available on one album--NUMBER ONES. Made possible by a partnership between Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) and EMI Music, the two-disc set, to be released November 17, 2009, in the USA (November 23, worldwide titled JANET JACKSON: THE BEST), celebrates the career and artistry of one of the most successful and influential artists in music history.
Among the album's many highlights is new single "Make Me," which was produced by Janet and Rodney Jerkins. Along with "Make Me," NUMBER ONES spans more than 20 years of chart-toppers, every #1 track spun off from Janet's original albums, from her 1986 blockbuster breakthrough CONTROL to her most recent, 2008's DISCIPLINE. CONTROL sold more than 14 million copies worldwide, with five #1 singles. The best-selling album of 1990, RHYTHM NATION 1814 sold more than 14 million copies worldwide, making Janet the first and only artist in history to produce seven top 5 hits from one album. JANET, sold 20 million albums worldwide, with six hit singles and a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Original Song, "Again." THE VELVET ROPE has sold more than 10 million worldwide, with six hit singles. ALL FOR YOU was Janet's fifth consecutive album to debut at #1, with more than seven million in worldwide sales. For Janet's seventh consecutive platinum album, DAMITA JO, Janet took its title from her middle name.
Janet's eighth consecutive platinum album, 20 Y.O., acknowledged her love affair with her fans. Janet encouraged her fans around the world to design the 20 Y.O. cover artwork and she chose her favorites for the U.S. pressings. DISCIPLINE was Janet's 6th number one album and 10th studio album.
NUMBER ONES is the first greatest hits compilation from Janet in this century. Janet's last hits collection was released in 1995.
Janet is an iconic figure in the worlds of music, entertainment, fashion and philanthropy.
Mega-award-winning artist, singer, songwriter, producer, actor, dancer, Janet Jackson is all of these things and more. She possesses an unprecedented list of achievements, and remains at the forefront of her craft, a true inspiration. As an artist, Janet excites, enlightens, leads, and embraces her audience with insights into life's meaning and our deepest feelings. Her vocal gifts, musical style, choreography, lyrical exploration, and awareness of the human condition has made her one of the top artists of our time as well as a leading influence on people around the globe. Through words and actions, she has set an example of generosity, of empowerment, of compassion, and helped to lead efforts addressing some of society's greatest challenges.
As an actor, Janet made her big screen debut in 1993 with Poetic Justice, in which she starred opposite hip-hop legend Tupac Shakur and actress Regina King. Her ballad "Again" was featured in the film and received both a Golden Globe and Academy Award nomination. In the box office smash Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, Janet made her second feature film appearance as Denise Gaines, opposite Academy Award nominee Eddie Murphy. Nutty Professor II became her second film to open at number one at the box office. In her third feature film, Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?, Janet starred opposite Tyler Perry and received an Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Feature Motion Picture. The film was yet another number one opener at the box office. Janet's fourth film, Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too, will be released in 2010.
Janet is the only artist having Grammy nominations spanning the Dance, Pop, Rap, Rock, and R&B categories and to have number one hits on every chart except country. Among her many honors, she has accumulated 5 Grammys, multiple MTV Awards, Billboard Music Awards, and Soul Train Music Awards. Janet's concerts are stunning events that stimulate all the senses--engaging mind, ears, eyes and the soul. Unbelievable choreography performed to perfection has become synonymous with Janet.
MTV presented Janet with the inaugural mtvICON Award solidifying her accomplishments and effect on pop culture. Some of the world's most recognized musical artists were enlisted to recreate the music videos and performances of her classic hits in honor of her work, influence and overall impact in the arena of music. The title of ICON was and continues to be hers.
Janet continues to focus on speaking out and giving back. Several of her tours have raised money for charities such as the Cities in Schools, and America's Promise. She has supported the Watts Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club of America, the Starlight Foundation, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, A Place Called Home providing after school programs in South Central LA, the American Foundation for AIDS Research, S.O.S. Children's Villages in South Africa, Cartier's Love Bracelet Program benefiting OCNA and sponsored an Airlift of Food and Medical supplies to famine-stricken Rwanda. Janet established the Rhythm Nation Scholarship with the UNCF and has assisted countless students striving to meet their educational goals.
She has been honored with many Humanitarian Awards due to her intense dedication to helping others. Recent honors reflecting the range of her involvement in charitable and social causes include the 2008 Humanitarian of the Year award from the Lisa Lopes Foundation, the 2008 Vanguard Award from GLAAD, and the 2004 Touching a Life Humanitarian and Philanthropic Award from the NBA. Janet's efforts have also been recognized by AIDS Project LA, the Congress for Racial Equality, and by the NAACP with their Chairman's Award. In September 2009, Janet chaired amFAR's inaugural fundraising event in Milan, Italy during Fashion Week and raised over 1.1 million dollars.
Next year, Janet will publish her first book, providing an intimate look at her life and how she has dealt with issues of self-esteem. Janet will reveal aspects not known before about her uniquely successful career in music, television and films.
Janet's next studio album is slated to be released in 2010.
The track listing for NUMBER ONES is as follows:
Disc 1 1. What Have You Done For Me Lately (Control, #1 R&B) 2. Nasty (Control, #1 Dance & R&B) 3. When I Think Of You (Control, #1 Pop & Dance) 4. Control (Control, #1 Dance & R&B) 5. Let's Wait Awhile (Control, #1 R&B) 6. The Pleasure Principle (Control, #1 Dance & R&B) 7. Diamonds--Herb Alpert with Janet Jackson (Keep Your Eye on Me, #1 Dance & R&B) 8. Miss You Much (Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814, #1 Pop, Dance & R&B) 9. Rhythm Nation (Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814, #1 Dance & R&B) 10. Escapade (Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814, #1 Pop, Dance & R&B) 11. Alright (Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814, #1 Dance) 12. Come Back To Me (Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814, #1 AC) 13. Black Cat (Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814, #1 Pop) 14. Love Will Never Do (Without You) (Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814, #1 Pop) 15. The Best Things In Life Are Free---Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson 16. That's The Way Love Goes (janet, #1 Pop, Dance & R&B)
Disc 2 1. If (janet, #1 Pop, Dance & R&B) 2. Again (janet, #1 Pop) 3. Because Of Love 4. Any Time, Any Place (janet, #1 R&B) 5. Scream--Michael Jackson and Janet (History - Past, Present, and Future Book 1, #1 Dance) 6. Runaway 7. Got 'Til Its Gone---janet featuring Joni Mitchell and Q-Tip (The Velvet Rope, #1 Japan and South Africa) 8. Together Again (The Velvet Rope, #1 Pop and Dance) 9. I Get Lonely---Janet featuring BLACKstreet (The Velvet Rope, #1 R&B) 10. Go Deep (The Velvet Rope, #1 Dance) 11. What's It Gonna Be---Busta Rhymes featuring Janet (Extinction Level Event, #1 R&B) 12. Doesn't Really Matter (All For You, #1 Pop) 13. All For You (All For You, #1 Pop, Dance, R&B) 14. Someone To Call My Lover (All For You, #1 Dance) 15. All Nite (Don't Stop) (Damita Jo), #1 Dance) 16. Call On Me with Nelly (20 Y.O., #1 R&B) 17. Feedback (Discipline, #1 Dance) 18. Make Me