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Janet Jackson: Kids should be out of the picture

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Jackson, a child star, says, "A kid should have a life"
  • She says the pressures on child performers are too great
  • Jackson continues to perform; will play Essence Music Festival on Friday

(CNN) -- Janet Jackson says she has no regrets about her three decades in the spotlight as a singer and actress, but says show business is "just too difficult" for children.

"A kid should have a life. They should enjoy their childhood. They only get one," Jackson told HLN's Richelle Carey in an interview set to air Friday.

The 44-year-old Jackson and her late brother, Michael, had been in the public eye since childhood -- he as the lead singer of the Jackson Five, she as a performer on television shows like "Good Times" and "Diff'rent Strokes." The Grammy-winning performer has had numerous hit albums since her 1986 set, "Control." She is scheduled to perform on Friday at the opening of this year's Essence Music Festival.

Jackson has been singing since the 1980s and has continued acting, appearing in two Tyler Perry movies in the past year, but she said the pressures on child performers are too great.

"Maybe when they turn 18, if that's what they want to go into, then that's on them," she said.

Michael Jackson died in 2009 of an overdose of anesthetic used to help him sleep. His physician, Conrad Murray, has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges brought in connection with the death of the onetime "King of Pop."

Jackson said she was "really shocked" by the death of "Diff'rent Strokes" co-star Gary Coleman, who died in May at age 42. She said she hadn't spoken recently with either Coleman or fellow co-star Todd Bridges.

Coleman struggled with his finances, worked as a security guard for a time and was occasionally in the news for scuffles in his later years. He died after being stricken with a brain hemorrhage after an accident at his home in Santaquin, Utah, and his will is the subjecte of a dispute between his ex-wife, Shannon Price, and former business associate Anna Gray.