Janet Jackson’s 1986 album Control returned to number one on Apple’s Top 40 U.S. Pop Album Chart following its 35th anniversary on February 4. Now, after Justin Timberlake’s recent apology statement to Jackson and Britney Spears, Control is currently the 8th most downloaded album on the platform.
Control was Jackson’s critical breakout album, and a commercial smash hit as well. With it, she firmly established her presence as a singer and began breaking out from the shadow of her brother, Michael Jackson. The album is a fair mix of rhythmic dance-pop jams and smooth contemporary r&b ballads. Singles off the record such as “What Have You Done for Me Lately,” “Nasty,” “When I Think of You” and “The Pleasure Principle” did particularly well and continue to place among her more recognizable tunes.
Timberlake’s apology was motivated by The New York Times’ new documentary Framing Britney Spears, which spent some time covering Timberlake’s relationship with Spears. The film included a clip from a radio interview where Timberlake bragged about taking Spears’ virginity. He apologized for all times he’s fallen short while benefitting “from a system that condones misogyny and racism.” Then he stated, “I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism. I specifically want to apologize to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually, because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed.”
With his apology to Jackson, he was apologizing for exposing her nipple during their 2004 Super Bowl halftime performance together, which got her blacklisted on MTV and her Grammy’s invitation revoked that year. Timberlake went on to perform at that Grammy’s ceremony.
Jackson hasn’t yet responded to the apology itself, but she shared a video to Twitter in response to Control hitting number one on the pop chart. She began by thanking God first, “I was at home just the other day by myself, and I began to cry. I was crying because I was so thankful for all that God has blessed me with, all that he has given me, and I’m so thankful for him being in my life.”
Then she addressed the album charting, “I’m so thankful for all of you being in my life. You’re so special to me, and I want to thank all of you for making Control number one once again. After 35 years, never in a million years would I think that this would happen. I really appreciate you, and I love you so, so much. Thank you.”
Thank u 🖤🙏🏽🤗 pic.twitter.com/qSEcON2YoN
— Janet Jackson (@JanetJackson) February 13, 2021