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Music on the Road

Janet Jackson, married to the music

By Joanne Suh
CNN Entertainment Correspondent


LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- As one of the most famous entertainers in the world, Janet Jackson says she plans to remain a solo act when it comes to marriage -- at least for now. The pop diva says she doesn't see herself getting married again, but she still believes in love.

The 35-year-old Jackson, who was divorced from Rene Elizondo last year after almost 10 years of a fairly quiet marriage, has been keeping very busy since last summer, when she launched her latest world tour to promote her album, "All For You." The tour has had its share of setbacks: initial production delays, a canceled European leg (due to travel concerns after September 11), and the star's bout with pneumonia.

But Jackson's hard work is paying off nicely. Already a multiple Grammy winner, she's nominated again this year for three Grammys. Her world tour is winding down with the grand finale scheduled to take place in Honolulu, Hawaii, on September 17. The show will be broadcast on HBO. Rumors are abuzz that Jackson may retire from touring, due to the grueling demands of being on the road.

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Jackson recently sat down and talked with CNN about her tour, Grammy nominations, and love.

CNN: You're well known to be shy and then you can get up there on stage and just turn it on for thousands of people ...

JACKSON: I don't consider myself shy, I think quiet maybe. My entire family would be considered quiet.

But I've heard that, you know -- very shy in person and then you become this lion on stage. ... It's just the music moving you. You feel it in your soul. And that's what comes forward and the energy from the audience, and that's what comes forth.

CNN: When you're touring, do you ever lose track and do you have to be reminded about what date it is and city you're in?


JACKSON: They do (it) for me in my quick-change room backstage. They post what city we're in on a little Post-It and put it on the mirror. And I have to keep looking at it because ... the venues are different on the inside but you don't know what city you're in, (so) sometimes you lose track. ... It gets tough.

CNN: Everybody was so worried about you when you came down with -- what was it, the flu?

JACKSON: I had pneumonia. (small laugh) We were working so hard, 16-hour days and trying to get everything together and trying to make our deadline and some of the set wasn't in place. ... So I didn't want to put on the show without part of the set. There were things that needed to be staged and also choreographed for that number, so we needed to wait for that part of the set, which pushed us back.

And then I wound up getting pneumonia, which I wasn't happy about. ... I hadn't been that sick in a really long time. And then I would get these relapses, I wound up being sick almost every month. It was a tough, tough tour for me.

CNN: The Grammys are coming up and you're nominated for three awards -- is it still exciting to be garnering awards at this stage in your career?

JACKSON: It's so exciting, it's just as exciting as the very first nomination I ever got for myself. ... It just totally caught me off guard. And I thought how sweet ... for your peers to acknowledge your work.

CNN: Do you worry (when doing an album), "I wonder if I'm on track with this one or I wonder if I'm doing what fans want to hear or I wonder if I'm still in step with the times?"

JACKSON: No I don't. The way I like to go about it is I write for myself and to please myself is first and foremost. At the end of the day when all is said and done, then I hope that my audience understand(s) what is going on in my life, that I'm not too far ahead or behind with their feelings.

CNN: There have been moments when the media, especially tabloid media, have pried into your life perhaps more than you would have liked -- but for the most part, the media have been very good to you.

CNN: But then you look at your brother Michael and (the media are) all over him.

JACKSON: I don't know. I truly don't. And that's the only thing I can think of is truly opening up. I mean I kept my marriage a secret and that was something we both did, but I've been pretty open about a lot of things. And maybe that has something to do with it, I don't know.

CNN: Do you still believe in marriage, do you ever want to get married again?

JACKSON: At this very moment, I could say to you honestly no, not really. (laugh) I believe in love. I believe in exchanging vows. I believe in not having a piece of paper to validate what you have between the two of you. But if you want to exchange vows and do something your own special way of creating what you truly have, I think that's beautiful. And for me, that's enough.

CNN: If you got married again, would you tell the media?

JACKSON: Yeah I would. (laugh) ... But I don't think I'm gonna get married though. (laugh)

CNN: You don't seem jaded at all.

JACKSON: I hope not. I hope not. It's important to me to stay grounded and who I surround myself with. My friends, it's important for them to call me out on my mess and I make that very clear. That truly is important to me. I think that's how you stay grounded and stay focused and stay on the right path, at least that's what I try to do.

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4:30pm ET, 4/16