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LIVE REVIEW: Janet Jackson at the Royal Albert Hall


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THERE'S SOMETHING about London's Royal Albert Hall that makes a show feel intimate, despite the prestigious venue packing in a crowd of over 5,000.

So with Janet Jackson regularly turning to different sections of her crowd as she sang "If I was your woman, the things I'd do to you" (from her 1993 hit If), it's quite possible that each audience member in the area she was looking, could've thought the star was singing directly to them.

Throughout the whole show, the sexy songstress engaged with her audience, whipping them into a frenzy as she delivered number one hits including What Have You Done For Me Lately, All For You and Doesn't Really Matter.

The video for her 1986 hit Nasty being was played on a huge screen as the prelude to Janet's entrance. The iconic video, which contains the singer's famous line "It’s Janet… Miss Jackson if you're nasty", served as a reminder of how the star earned her seductive reputation.

15 years on, she remains a sensual performer, owning her stage with energy, poise and sexy dance moves. And though Janet has never been known as a powerhouse singer, she held her own vocally, proving she can deliver her classics live, without miming, in her trademark soft and whispery style. Her slow numbers Trust In Me, Again and Let’s Wait A While gave her the opportunity to really show off her vocals.

Video interludes also provided entertainment, showing Janet’s acting skills. From a clip of teenage Janet in the sitcom Diff’rent Strokes; to the flirtatious scene she shared with the late Tupac in 1993’s Poetic Justice; right up to her phenomenal room-trashing scene in Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too, the numerous clips reminded the crowd that Miss Jackson is multi-talented.

Of course, the show didn’t end without a fitting tribute to the late great Michael Jackson. As the video for Scream – Janet’s duet with her brother – began playing on the screen, Janet launched into a short performance of the hit, before childhood pictures of the two siblings together graced the screen.

It was beautifully apt that she ended her set with her hit Together Again. Complete with the lyrics, “Dancing in moonlight, I know you are free/ coz I can see your star/ shining down on me,” it was a fitting and touching tribute to the King of Pop.

Equally touching was Janet’s appreciation for her London crowd, who she thanked for their continued support, “not just for me, but for my entirely family.” As dysfunctional as some might see the Jackson family, there’s no denying the impact they’ve made on the world. Janet reminded us of that.

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