Janet Jackson's UK return

Janet Jackson returns to the UK this week, with her first tour in 13 years.

Janet’s 'Number Ones Up and Close and Personal Tour' gives fans the chance to see Janet performing her greatest hits in an intimate setting.

The Grammy award star, who’s sold over 100 million records in her 30 year career, exclusively called Heart from Berlin to chat about her return to the stage. She told showbiz reporter Kevin Hughes "...it means a great deal to me to be back in the UK after 13 years. I love London and to know that I’m going to be at the Albert Hall, here I have history, is just so special to me. I love performing and I’m just so excited to be performing for my fans."

Janet talks to Kevin Hughes

Janet's biggest hits include 'Rhythm Nation', 'The Best Things in Life Are Free'; 'Again', Together Again and What have you done for me lately but which song is her favourite to perform live? “I have to tell you, I really do love them all. Every song I perform is a song that I’ve written, it’s a part of my life and it’s some point in my life so it’s all so close to me and so connected, so I enjoy every moment of the show.”

Each show around the world will offer something different to Janet’s performance, so no show will be the same.  Janet will perform music exclusively from her highly acclaimed Numbers Ones album - featuring 35 number one hits and the tour will be performed in 35 global cities, including dates across the USA this summer.
As well the tour, Janet recently released "True You," her first book which reveals her own unique, insider's perspective on dieting and exercise, with help from her personal nutritionist, David Allen. So does the star worry as much about staying in shape?

“The show keeps me fit but it doesn’t have to. You can tour but you have to have a hand in taking care of yourself because you have to eat properly. I mean I work out 6 days a week, alongside doing the two hour show but you still have to eat correctly, you have to make sure you get enough rest so it’s a lot of things that come into play and I still do those things.”

So how does Janet feel after a show? "I'm not exhausted but it takes a good four hours for me to come down from performing because it’s such a rush and such a buzz.”  I decided to write the book when I realised how people were so interested in my weight gain and my weight loss but not just that, I decided to take it back to my beginning and talk about my childhood and deal with my self-esteem issues. But I wanted to appeal to both kids and adults, but especially kids so I can help them so they don’t take the same path I did, so any little chance I get to help I’m proud to because that why’s I believe God put me on this earth for."

Stars such as Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga and Leona Lewis have all credited Janet as an influence, but who does Janet rate?

"I actually really enjoy Bruno Mars, I think he’s nice to listen as well as Adele, I think she’s very talented and I also like Lady Gaga. I like the Gaga who sits behind the piano and it’s just her and the piano and I wish I could hear more of that from her. I think she’s very talented."

So when did Janet first hear our very own Adele? "I first heard her on her first album and I thought wow, as you can feel the soul in her voice as it’s real. It hasn’t been learnt and I really like that. Her voice in different, it’s recognisable and I love that."

Fans can also expect to see Janet perform her 1995 hit "Scream" on the new tour, the hit duet she recorded with brother Michael, who died two years ago this week. So how does it feel to perform that song on stage? "It's therapeutic, you know and it makes me smile inside. I mean the energy of the song is fierce but makes it makes me smile inside when I hear him, when I hear his voice…"

And the reason why the Royal Albert Hall has such an important memory for Janet? “I performed Rhythm Nation there, in front of Her Majesty The Queen and on stage I split my pants, or trousers as you’d say! I bent over and I ripped my pants right down the middle, right in the middle of dancing but I had to finish the song. So my booty is hanging out but what can you do, it was so embarrassing” she laughed.

And as for the future, Janet revealed she has more plans to work in movies and write more music. “I will do both and I’ve been reading a lot of film scripts, so we’ll see what comes with that. I’ve just signed a deal with Lionsgate to produce my first film which I’m so excited about as it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. With the music, I’m going to take my time. No rush and as for the direction, it just depends where I’m at in my life. But I’m in a good place right now, I’m living the dream.”

Janet Jackson performs at the Royal Albert Hall, June 30th, July 2nd and July 3rd. Tickets are available for the July 3rd date now