So really, you can’t have a whole day devoted to the fabulous Miss Janet Jackson if you don’t talk about her amazing Live performances. I mean, yeah she was a notorious lip-syncher, but she was ALWAYS given a pass because she goes so hard on the choreography. And while not all of the 10 performances listed below include dancing, all of the Top 10 show Janet’s versatility and just how amazing she was on stage.
10. “Alright” from Jackson Family Honors
This 1994 special was totally forgetable, but I always remembered this performance for a few reasons. I thought the staging and set design was great. I always love seeing her perform this song, and she did a great job of matching the fun and energy of the video and putting it on stage. Lastly, you have to remember that in 1994 Janet was THE Jackson. Michael was having his legal issues, and the rest of them were has-beens or never-weres, so not only was this a huge moment for Janet fans… but she was the main draw for this entire special and she definitely delivered.
9. “All for You” from MTV Icon
The main reason I love this performance from Janet’s MTV Icon special (I don’t really like the song) is if you notice the dancers, they all have different outfits Janet wore in past videos and performances. It was a cute element and while the dancing was on point here, that was my favorite thing of the whole performance.
8. “Again” from The 66th Annual Academy Awards
Janet isn’t a SINGER, so I was impressed that she was able to tackle this huge performance in a satisfactory way. I thought she looked great as well. Look, it was just nice to see Janet at the Oscars.
7. “All Nite (Don’t Stop)” from Saturday Night Live
***So, yeah, this is NOT from Saturday Night Live. I could not find a clip of that performance, so this Jay Leno performance will have to do!***
The thing about the SNL performance was that they gave her such a small stage, but the dancing and staging was done to perfection (and she was doing all those moves in heels!)
6. “I Get Lonely” from The Rosie O’Donnell Show
This is probably the most surprising performance ever. I remember being excited that she was going to be on Rosie (a show I LOVED around this time), and I had an inkling she would perform “Lonely” since it was her current single. I just never imagined she’d do this slow stripped down piano version of it. And… she KILLED IT!! Like I said before, she’s not a singer, but she knows HOW to sing which is evidenced in some of the choices she made here.
5. “What Have You Done for Me Lately/Nasty” from The 29th Annual Grammy Awards
4. “Doesn’t Really Matter” from the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards
I don’t like the way she looks here, I really hate the goth-look and it doesn’t match the song at all. BUT, the dancing is perfection. Even the beginning when she and her dancers are just standing there and they break out in different spastic poses and moves to the beat. Than you get the first breakdown, and the second one, and it became clear that Janet still had it!
3. “Throb” from Saturday Night Live
***This is actually a crappy version of the performance, it’s the video but the audio is actually from the album. Kinda sucks but it’s the best I could find.***
This was also a shocker for Janet fans. We were excited she’d be the musical guest that night, but not sure what she’d sing. What we got was this Dance-Off that is so fierce and so full of energy that you can’t help but to love it. THIS performance made me LOVE this song!!! (and I love it a lot, stay tuned!)
2. “All For You/Rythm Nation/Rock Your Body” from Superbowl XL
Before Justin Timberlake ruined her career (lol!), this was a VERY pleasing Superbowl performance. Sucks that she only did two of her own songs, the flow of her set was perfect. It’s such a shame that such a big performance for her was overlooked because of one nipple, but hey… America is WEIRD!!
1. “That’s the Way Love Goes/If” from the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards
So sexy, so fierce, so on point! Everything about this performance KILLS!!