Janet Jackson, 55, is not only an incredibly talented singer, actress, and performer who’s been performing almost her whole life, she has a sweet son, Eissa Al Mana whom she shares with her Quatari businessman ex-husband, Wissam Al Mana. The couple married privately in 2012 and announced in 2016 they were expecting a baby together.
“I think that if I’m really supposed to have kids, it will happen, if that’s God’s plan for me,” the “Scream” singer told Harper’s BAZAAR in 2009. Luckily for Janet, she was able to get pregnant at the unbelievable age of 50.
Find out more below about Janet’s little one who’s now 5-years-old!
— The Root (@TheRoot) October 12, 2016
Who Is Eissa Al Mana?
In an April 2016 video shared with her fans, Janet announced she and her husband at the time, Wassam, were “planning a family” together, thus post-ponding her Unbreakable tour. “Please understand that it’s important that I do this now. I have to rest up, doctor’s orders.” Janet then gave birth to baby Eissa Jan. 3, 2017. Since then, the Poetic Justice actress has been notoriously private about her baby boy, although she did share a photo of her newborn around the time of his birth (above).
“My son has shown me that love, no matter how deeply you believe you have experienced that emotion, can always go deeper. Love is limitless,” told Billboard in 2018. “And for someone like me, raised in show business where self-concern is always a priority, how fortunate I am now to be concerned, first and foremost, with the welfare of someone else. Day after day and night after night, holding my baby in my arms, I am at peace. I am blessed. I feel bliss. In those moments, all is right with the world.”
Seven months after giving birth to Eissa, Janet and Wissam ended up splitting up, as the R&B singer’s brother, Randy Jackson, shared with PEOPLE at the time about the divorce and custody battle over their son. “It was quite an abusive situation,” Randy claimed. “It came on later in the relationship, verbal abuse and being [made to feel like] a prisoner in her own home. No pregnant woman needs to go through being called a bitch everyday. There were things like that. That’s what she went through.”
Despite the weight put on her in being a single parent, Janet revealed that she chose to not employ a nanny for assistance. “My mother did it. Her mother did it. Why can’t I?” she stated in an interview with an Australian radio show, per Parade. “We’ll see. I’m sure I will need someone in the future, some help here and there, but I don’t have anyone [right now] and I love it. I’ve always been a patient person, but there’s more patience that you have to have [in motherhood] and I never knew I was as patient as I really am. He’s first and foremost in my life. I get up, I go to sleep—everything is about him. He comes first in my life.”
He May Follow In Mom’s Footsteps
In a rare Instagram post of her son (with his classmates), Janet shared an adorable picture of the young ones celebrating with gifts from Paw Patrol — a favorite TV show of many children. In addition to his love of the animated series, Janet shared on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon in Feb. 2020 that her son is “incredibly musical” and plays cello and violin. She also shared that QuestLove — a part of Jimmy’s band/The Roots — gave little Eissa a special drum set. So sweet!
In an interview with InStyle, Janet talked about spending time with her son out in public and risking being spotted by fans or paparazzi. “I get bothered and recognized, but I do it anyway. I just try to be cordial and smile. And just keep it moving, really,” she shared.
She also shared how she aims to ensure Eissa grows up with the lessons she learned from a young age. “The foundation of being grounded and also of a higher power. Knowing who he is and that we are all equal no matter the race or gender. And that he is to be respectful towards others but also that others are respectful to him,” she told the outlet.