Love would never do without a bundle of joy for Janet Jackson.
Yesterday, Us Weekly confirmed that the pop superstar is pregnant and expecting her first child with her billionaire husband, Wissam Al Mana, on Wednesday, May 4, weeks after she cut her Unbreakable world tour short to start “planning” their family.
But how long has the “All for You” singer — who turns 50 on May 16 — been yearning for a baby with Al Mana, 41? Let Us take a look back at the notoriously private pair’s road to parenthood.
Janet, who grew up with eight brothers and sisters in one of the world’s most famous families, has wanted to raise her own little one for years.
“I’d love to have a family,” a then–44-year-old Janet told Access Hollywood in 2010. “But really, it’s in God’s hands. So, if it’s meant to be, I’ll have one. I hope it does.”
At the time, the Grammy winner denied rumors that she was engaged to Qatar businessman Al Mana. As previously reported, sparks flew between the pair when they first met, at a hotel opening in Dubai in April 2010.
One year later, Janet sat down with Piers Morgan for a 2011 CNN interview. Babies were still very much on the chart-topper’s brain — and she was still quietly dating her Middle Eastern–born beau.
“I hope [I’d be a good mother]. Everyone tells me, for the longest [time], they’ve told me, ‘Oh, you’d make a great mother.’ And I’m like, ‘Why?’” she said to Morgan, 51. “[People would tell me], ‘You’re very nurturing. You’re very mothering and you take care of people all the time.’ And yada, yada, yada. And so, I don’t know.”
During her chat with CNN, the former child star also spoke about how she’d differ as a parent compared to her dad, Joe Jackson.
Janet and her famous siblings — including her fellow pop icon brother, the late Michael Jackson — were raised in a strict, religious household centered on the Jehovah’s Witness faith. The Jackson brood have publicly spoken about the physical abuse they suffered at the hands of their father and former manager, who was the mastermind behind the Jackson 5.
“A lot of attention, a lot of love. I’d spend a lot of time. I’d let them know how much I love them all the time,” the Poetic Justice actress explained in 2011, insisting she’d never subject a child to the same upbringing she experienced. “They’d never have to wonder [or] guess.” (Janet has 27 nieces and nephews. Michael left behind three kids — Prince Jr., 19, Paris, 18, and Blanket, 14 — when he died at age 50 in 2009.)
In November 2011, the couple finally went public with their courtship and opened up about their life together in a joint interview with Harper’s Bazaar Arabia.
“I’m fortunate enough to be dating my dream woman,” Al Mana, whose nickname is “Sam,” told the magazine.
“I’m getting older and I feel more settled,” Jackson agreed at time. “We have a deep bond, a deep connection.”
A little more than a year later, Us Weekly exclusively reported that the two were engaged, on December 26, 2012. Not long after, they tied the knot in a private ceremony, which Jackson kept under wraps until she confirmed their union in 2013.
She now lives in Dubai with her media magnate hubby, who oversees an empire that spans across fashion, media, engineering and real estate.
On the same day Jackson’s long-awaited pregnancy made headlines, she dropped the music video for her appropriately titled new single “Dammn Baby.”
Prior to her marriage with Al Mana, Jackson was married (in secret!) to dancer Rene Elizondo, Jr. from 1991 through 2000. She was also briefly wed to R&B recording artist James DeBarge from 1984 until 1985.
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