Why Janet Jackson Had to Relearn How to Drive During the Pandemic

Janet Jackson is known for doing just about everything, from singing to dancing to acting. But during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Jackson — like many other people — took time to learn new things. For the Grammy-winning singer, this included getting behind the wheel of a car for the first time in years.

Janet Jackson flipping her hair
Janet Jackson | François Nel/Getty Images

Janet Jackson’s wide-spanning career

Janet Jackson first burst onto the scene as a solo star in 1982 with her self-titled debut album. She came from the famous Jackson family and entered the music industry on the heels of her famous brother Michael and her brothers who formed The Jackson 5.

By the early 1990s, Janet Jackson was a star in her own right. Her albums Control and Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 proved that she was a force to be reckoned with. And in the early ’90s, she crossed over from stage to screen in films such as Poetic Justice opposite Tupac Shakur.

Janet Jackson relearned how to drive in the pandemic

In recent years, Jackson has been enjoying her status as a legend. She released her last album, Unbreakable, in 2015, and in 2019, she had a residency show in Las Vegas.

During the pandemic, however, Jackson was forced to examine her life and the things she holds dear. She also took it upon herself to learn new things — namely, how to drive.

Jackson spoke about her life in 2022 in a cover story for Allure magazine. She’s lived in London for nearly six years, which is where her son Eissa was born, even though she preferred living in California. And even though she had to learn how to drive in the British capital, it wasn’t her first time behind the wheel: she already had a license and was learning to drive in London, which meant having to remember to stay to the left.

“Two things relax me: the ocean and driving. So I had to learn how to drive,” she said, adding, “I was tired of drivers driving me everywhere.

“When I need to clear my head, I would go for a drive before, when I lived at the beach back home. That was always my thing.”


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Janet Jackson’s 2022

Janet Jackson is gearing up to kick off 2022 in a big way. On January 28 and 29, Lifetime will air a special four-part documentary about the singer, simply titled Janet. Among the stars who will be singing Jackson’s praises in the doc are Mariah Carey, Missy Elliott, Ciara, Teyana Taylor, Whoopi Goldberg, Rev. Al Sharpton, Paula Abdul, Debbie Allen, and Regina King.

In addition to the Janet documentary, another documentary, produced by Hulu and FX, was also released in November 2021 about the singer. The difference with Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson is that Jackson herself wasn’t involved, as it explored a part of her life she’d like to forget: the 2003 Super Bowl halftime show. It remains unclear if she’ll discuss the infamous incident in the Janet documentary.