With nine studio albums, a plethora of business companies, her own record label, and now a reality television show, La Toya Jackson’s résumé is stacked. The entertainer is no stranger to the spotlight coming from a line of talented kin that boasts the Jackson 5, Michael and Janet Jackson, but she’s found her own lane without faltering behind.
Now, the Starting Over author is prepared to pen a new chapter as the cameras trail her in the new OWN series Life With La Toya. There is no shortage of drama as she battles to revive her music career, considers adoption and flaunts her independence. –Camille Augustin
VIBE Vixen: What’s the most surprising lesson you’ve learned about yourself from doing the show?
La Toya Jackson: I learned that I wasn’t embracing certain people I should have [like men] because of my past and what I had gone through. I didn’t realize that I had just sort of shut them out without even realizing it. It was brought to my attention with the people that surround me, that work with me and my friends. I realized that I wasn’t able to trust. It was a subconscious thing. I didn’t even know that’s the way I was thinking.
Adoption is discussed on Life With La Toya. Have you taken measures in beginning the process?
It’s something that I always wanted to do since I was 16 because I always wanted to help kids in the world. When [my ex-husband and manager Jack Gordon] took me and my passport away and said you’re never going back to your family or you can never speak to them again, my life took a different course. It was like there’s no way I’m adopting a child with this person. It’s still my love and my heart, and you will see it play out in the story.
With a burgeoning career in music depicted on the show, what type of records do you plan to create?
LBJ: You will see who I eventually start working with. I am working with RuPaul and it’s dance music, so we’re having fun with it. It’s strictly club. I love songs that people can dance to and enjoy at the same time. It’s very simple but fun.
Are you open to working with any rap artists?
Yes, if I like what they’re doing and it’s a positive thing. There’s a lot of different rap artists that are out there that are really great, but you know who I’m really loving right now that’s not necessarily rap? Bruno Mars. I just love his music. And Will Smith. He hasn’t put out anything in a while but his rapping is so clean and I like that.
With Michael Jackson’s children embarking on their own careers, is Paris planning to pursue modeling?
She loves show business in general, doesn’t matter what it is. Kids are young and their minds change all the time, but she wants to act more than anything else. She wants to act, sing, dance, play guitar, drums, everything.
And how is Prince’s Entertainment Tonight hosting job developing?
He did that for one time only because he wanted to so badly. He and his father worked so closely together as far as directing because he wants to be a director. He knows that his father was telling him, “You should be doing this at 16.” When people say why is everyone pushing him to show business, no one is. This is their life, this is what they want, this is what their father wanted for them and they know that.
Read the full interview at VIBE Vixen and catch the season premiere of Life With La Toya June 1 on OWN at 9:30 p.m.