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Janet Jackson Reveals How Catcalling Turned Into Iconic Line “Ms. Jackson If You’re Nasty”

We’re only in February and 2020 is shaping up to be a big year for music. There are a handful of anticipated releases on deck, but Janet Jackson warmed the hearts of millions of her fans after she shared that not only is she releasing a new album this year, but she’ll be embarking on a 33-date tour. The bashful 53-year-old singer wasted no time in starting the rollout for her Black Diamond project and appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Monday (February 10) evening.

The bashful singer was quite shy when Jimmy read aloud just a few accomplishments of her career. She spoke about her breakout album Control that spawned hit singles including “Let’s Wait Awhile,” “Control,” and “What Have You Done For Me Lately.”  Janet told Jimmy Fallow, “That was me coming into adulthood,” she said. “Being a kid, a teenager, going to Minneapolis, being with Jimmy [Jam] and Terry [Lewis]… I was very sheltered and I went to Minneapolis with a school friend. Good kid, didn’t get into much trouble, but I had my moments. [Jimmy and Terry] gave me my moments, I should say.” The goodie-two-shoes admitted that she didn’t even have her first real drink until she was 23-years-old.

Janet also shared the one lyric that fans love shouting at her: “Ms. Jackson if you’re nasty.” The line, of course, comes from her 1986 single “Nasty” off of her third album, Control. “I get it from everybody,” Janet added. “I get it from everyone. It doesn’t… Entertainers, everyone.” She didn’t create the line to become so iconic moment in music, but she did share how the idea for “Nasty” came about.

“Once again, in Minneapolis, my friend and I, we were on our way—I had never taken a dance class, so she had this great idea to take a dance class,” Janet shared. “Walking out of the hotel, there were like five or six older guys standing up against the wall and they just basically started messing with us. I didn’t like it very much and I was pretty embarrassed and I was actually pretty upset.”

That evening, she relayed the story to Jimmy and Terry, and the tale of catcalling became the song “Nasty” that millions of fans know and love. Watch Ms. Jackson’s clip below and see what else she had to say about her childhood pets including sheep and a giraffe.

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