There isn’t much I could say that probably won’t be said a million times over about how amazing, talented and cherished Janet Jackson is. However, no story will be like mine. I have always been a fan of music without question. I had plenty of artists I gravitated to and still love to this day, but there was something different about the moment I fell for Janet Damita Jo Jackson. Like any kid growing up, I knew who she was and even knew of some of her songs. However, I wasn’t exactly a fan just yet. Strangely, it wasn’t until I saw her on an episode of ‘Different Strokes’ that she’d caught my attention. There was something about her personality that I loved immediately so of course I needed to know more. Before I got into the music itself I went in search of Janet (the person) I found interviews and even though I was in my early teens 13 to be precise I had core values that I most likely learned from my family and cherished but I also had a more liberal idea about things that I didn’t necessarily speak about to others. You know that awkward teen phase where it’s you against the world? At that time I had been dealing with a lot in my family and my emotional state was taking a beating. Especially since illness and substance abuse played a major role in my teen angst having to watch people I love go through these things caused waves of emotion I didnt know existed! So as I explored this woman who was outwardly stunning and inwardly captivating I realized she spoke directly to my pain especially when she spoke of her own. It felt like she knew me and I’d never uttered a word. She just knew. So naturally I had to hear her music and from there I was hooked! The first Janet album I owned was design of a decade and so on and so forth. It seemed overnight Janet had become a household name in my house that is. I talked about her constantly and had dreams of meeting her one day. As a teen I dealt with depression like most people my age at the time and even though I had family whom I probably could have talked to I often felt judged so I wrote in my diary and listened to Janet. Church played a major role in my life then too but there was a lot I didn’t understand and more often then not I was scared as hell to sin because I thought God would be mad. However not taking away from my family or God here was this woman who happened to be famous singing about loneliness, fear, change, sex, education and simply being transparent about her life. My world truly expanded. By the time my Junior year of HS rolled around everyone who knew me knew about my love for Janet. With Each passing year I grew and Janet’s music was the soundtrack to my life in some capacity. By the time College rolled around I was a seasoned fan and could debate with the best of them about all things Janet. My family had stopped telling me when she would be making live appearances or had a new album coming out because they knew I already knew. If being a Janet fanatic wasn’t enough 2011 was about to solidify the power of a dream. I attended my first Janet concert in Atlantic City at 23. As I previously stated it had always been my dream to meet her and that’s exactly what happened in March of 2011 at her number ones tour. Needless to say I was beside myself with excitement to be standing in front of the woman I have admired, respected and looked up to for years! In a word, it was AMAZING and to still love, admire and respect her all these years later just solidifies to me there’s just something different about her! I love you Janet just for being you and teaching me how to truly be me!