The singer, who graces the cover of this month’s Essence — for the ninth time — gets candid about the joys and challenges of parenting her 5-year-old son, Eissa Al Mana, whom she welcomed at age 50 with then-husband Wissam Al Mana. Taking on motherhood later in life, like her friend Naomi Campbell, Jackson is now raising her son on her own in London.
When asked when she will release new music, the music icon, and the subject of a four-hourlong documentary that came out in January, explained to Essence, “sometimes . . . you’re in a space in your life when you have to take a step back.”
“There will be music at some point,” Jackson continued. “There’s so much that I want to do — but my number one job is being a mama.”
While she loves making music, whether she’s singing or producing, Jackson says she isn’t one to display her awards. Rather, she defines success as, “Being able to wake up and see my baby another day. The space I might be in at that moment within my soul. What I’ve accomplished within myself.”
All of her Grammys, she says, are stored in a warehouse.
“I’m saving them for my baby,” she said, “whatever he wants to do with them.”
Jackson has consistently described her love for her child on a spiritual level, telling Billboard in 2018, “my son, even in his short 17 months on the planet, has showed me that love, no matter how deeply you believe you have experienced that emotion, can always go deeper. Love is limitless.”
Caring for her son, Jackson explained, freed her from focusing on herself.
“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.”