Janet Jackson Opens Up About Weight Struggles and Michael's Death

Promoting her new Tyler Perry comedy, the singer tells Jay Leno how she channeled her grief about her brother into her role

Janet Jackson had a bit of an Oprah moment while visiting NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Last night, the singer/actress opened up to Leno about the loss of her brother Michael Jackson, her acting career and her ongoing struggles with weight. Jackson, 43, was on the show to promote her role in the Tyler Perry sequel Why Did I Get Married Too? (opening April 2), according to MTV.com -- as well as her upcoming single, "Nothing," which she wrote for the film's soundtrack.


While Jackson, like her famous family, is known for her musical prowess, she told Leno that acting -- not singing -- was her first passion. "Acting is more challenging," she admitted, adding, "I love them both, but acting is more of a challenge for me." And if her performance in Why Did I Get Married Too? looks effortless, it's because Jackson channeled some very real emotions.

Jackson talked about a particular scene in the movie when her character, stricken with grief, takes a golf club to a glass table -- and she said that thinking about the unexpected death of her brother helped her prepare for the moment. She told Leno, "You have to dig deep, but there was some stuff that was right there for me. Stuff that had just happened with my brother passing and also relationships. Experiencing exactly that."

Jackson has also channeled some of her energy into writing a book, True You, which will reportedly address her history with weight issues. Jackson explained that the book is not a diet guide nor is it necessarily "an autobiography, but there were certain events in my childhood that created issues that may have made it an issue for me -- weight loss, weight gain and self-esteem, things like that." 

The book will apparently also delve into a particular incident that happened when she starred on the sitcom Good Times. "I wasn't a heavy kid on the show, but I was 10 years old when I first started," she said. "I was developing very quickly. They would put gauze around my chest to make me smaller, and I think that has an effect on you, certain things like that when you're growing up. As if who you are isn't good enough."

Plus: Janet Jackson on Michael's Doctor: 'I Think He's Responsible'

Are you a fan of Janet Jackson as a singer or actress? Chime in below!

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