Written by Gerrick D. Kennedy for Essence's July Cover: Janet Jackson

Written by Gerrick D. Kennedy for Essence's July Cover: Janet Jackson

Introducing The Cover Star of Essence's July/August Issue, Janet Jackson

A risk-taking innovator who revolutionized Black cultural expression in the 1980s and broke barriers for women in music, Jackson is a capital “S” Superstar. A global icon and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer with incomparable impact, she’s built musical universes that centered pleasure, personal agency, self-esteem, spirituality, identity, race and social justice. She’s been a singular force for close to four decades—but she is also an enigma. We see her, we hear her, we feel her, but we don’t truly know her.

"Sometimes, when you see what’s in front of you and you think one thing may be happening, something totally different is going on behind the scenes. I know that’s so vague. I know. I’m not saying that what you’re seeing now is not me—but you never know what’s going on in the person’s mind."

— Janet Jackson

Click Here To Read The Cover Story

Writer: Gerrick D. Kennedy

Gerrick D. Kennedy is an award-winning journalist, cultural critic and author living and working in Los Angeles. Kennedy is the author of Parental Discretion Is Advised, The Rise of N.W.A and the Dawn of Gangsta Rap and the forthcoming Didn’t We Almost Have It All, an exploration of the life and career of Whitney Houston. His writing has appeared in GQWall Street Journal MagazineMen’s Health, NPR Music, Spin, PlayboyTeen Vogue, Shondaland, Cultured Magazine and the Los Angeles Times

Photographer: Yu Tsai

Yu Tsai is a Taiwanese born director and photographer and earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Art Center College of Design.

Yu Tsai’s collaborations with the industry’s most visible, beautiful, and provocative talent includes actors Leonardo Dicaprio, Nicole Kidman, Angelina Jolie, Tarji P. Henson, Jessica Chastain, Bruce Willis, Jon Hamm, Anne Hathaway, Forest Whitaker, James Franco, Keira Nightly, Ewan McGregror, and musicians as diverse as Ringo Starr, Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys, Nick Jonas, Katy Perry, and P Diddy.

Visit The Stylists Suite Page To Read More About Essence

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