According to E! News, while onstage at the Toyota Center in Houston on September 9, Jackson paused after performing her 1997 song “What About,” covering her face with one hand, and sobbing for a few seconds. She then stood up and said, “This is me.”
This particular song is clearly about domestic violence with the following lyrics: “What about all the s–t you’ve done to me? / What about the times you hit my face? / What about the times you kept on when I said no more, please?”
It’s unclear what prompted this rare scene of raw emotion, but we do know that Jackson and her estranged husband Wissam Al Manaa are in the midst of a divorce that she filed for only a few months after giving birth to their son Eissa. They were married for five years.
This isn’t the first time Jackson has appeared shaken up by this song. Apparently, she cried a little at the end of this song during opening night of her tour in Lafayette, Louisiana last Thursday. But she snapped back a little sooner than she did in Houston.
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The only moment I could capture after 'what about'… she was sooooo emotional😢 it was such a powerful performance I could only stand there and watch in awe😧 #SOTW #janetjackson #janfam #TeamJJ #thisisme #myheartbrokeforher #hertearswerereal #StateOfTheWorld #openingnight #sept7 #lafayettela
As ABC News noted, Jackson hasn’t spoken out publicly that much about her divorce, but she did mention it briefly in a video she put out in May announcing that she was resuming her tour after putting her “Unbreakable” tour on hold last year when she became pregnant.
“I decided to change the name of the tour,” she said then. “It’s not about politics. It’s about people, the world, relationships and just love.”
In the video, she also acknowledged her split saying, “We are in court and the rest is in God’s hands.”
Sending hugs to you Janet!