Thursday, May 23, 2024

Janet Jackson Is Back! Has Her First Top 10 Hit Since 2001 With Infectious, Joyous “Made for Now”


Never say never.

Janet Jackson has her first top 10 hit since 2001 with “Made for Now,” a collaboration with Daddy Yankee.

The record is great, but the response comes straight from an over the top knock out performance on the “Tonight” show on Friday. That, plus the video for the song, has made it number 4 on iTunes, competing with the new Ariana Grande single and the avalanche of sales for Aretha Franklin’s singles.

Janet’s last actual hit was in 2001. That was “Someone to Call My Lover” with Jermaine Dupri. I know, you’re thinking, it can’t be so long ago. But after that Janet’s recording career became a mess. Her last two singles didn’t even chart. And before that, “No Sleeep,” with too many e’s, made it just to number 63.

So what happened? I’ll tell you: “Made for Now” is an actual song, with a chorus that’s conventional, understandable, and singable. Also, the video is ebullient, euphoric, and triumphant. It’s reminiscent of “Smooth.” It’s joyous. Director Dasve Meyer captured some magic, and it’s infectious.

Janet isn’t even on a conventional record label anymore. She released “Made for Now” on her own Rhythm Nation records, distributed by indie group Cinq Records. She’s had 8 million views on YouTube for the video proper. I’ve added the Tonight show clip after that. Janet is back, kids. I’d say this would be the year for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to do the right thing.

One PS: In all those years, Janet never stopped trying. She lived through Michael’s death, her own waning popularity, poor ticket sales, a bad marriage, her crazy family. Persistence– and talent– have paid off.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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