Music icon

Did you know the icon of the music once played for the troops?

Janet Jackson performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival on June 29, 2019 (Photo: Female POV/Alamy Live News).

Janet Jackson is a music industry icon, actress, mother and the youngest brother of the Jackson family, but did you know that she can also add performances to the troops and their families to her list of achievements?

Immediately identifiable by first name, Janet – whose four-part documentary series ‘Janet Jackson’ has just been released on Sky Documentaries and NOW TV in the UK – is a five-time Grammy Award winner, Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, one of the highest earning artists in music history and according to the Recording Industry Association of America, eight of her albums have been multi-certified platinum.

She can also add artist strengths to her many accomplishments after performing her fan-favorite platinum hit song Rhythm Nation and Luv in front of thousands of screaming staff and their families on stage at Del Mar Beach in 2008 at Camp Pendleton. , California – the main west coast. United States Marine Corps base.

Video: Janet Jackson performs Rhythm Nation at America United: In Support of Our Troops in 2008.

To celebrate 40 years since the release of the popstar’s debut album, singer All For You is releasing ‘Janet Jackson’, a four-part documentary that will lift the curtain on her usually very private life.

It’s unusual to see Janet talk so openly about her life, especially the particularly private parts of it, including the death of her brother Michael Jackson and life as a mother to her five-year-old son Eissa.

One thing that hasn’t gotten much attention over the years is when she performed on “America United: In Support of Our Troops”, which aired on ABC in America on September 7, 2008.

Video: Janet Jackson performs Luv at America United: In Support of Our Troops in 2008.

The multi-site special event, which was filmed in front of cheering audiences in Iraq, Camp Pendleton in California and Fort Campbell in Kentucky, featured troop tributes, celebrity cameos and performances by Jessica Simpson , ZZ Top, Snoop Dog and of course, Janet Jackson.

The two-hour special was designed to raise awareness and be a call to action to encourage civilians to appreciate the sacrifices service personnel and their families make.

Just before Janet performed for the troops and their families at Camp Pendleton, she spoke about what it meant to her to be there, saying: “It’s my way of saying thank you – all musicians, all the artists who are here tonight – we really love and appreciate what they have done.

“And for the families and the troops to come out, to be able to support them the way they support us and just to say thank you.”

“And for the families and the troops to come out, to be able to support them the way they support us and just to say thank you.”

Military personnel serving overseas and on ships at sea were able to watch the broadcast through the United States Forces Radio and Television Service.

It was sponsored by the United Services Automobile Association, a financial corporation formed in 1922 when 25 US Army officers agreed to insure each other’s cars. USAA employs military veterans and has a direct connection to those in uniform.

Joe Robles, former USAA President and CEO, said of the event in a press release at the time: “America United in Support of Our Troops – is about standing together as nation to say a very heartfelt “thank you” to the men and women of the United States military.

“USAA has been proud to serve our country’s military families for 86 years, and we are honored to sponsor this tribute. We hope Americans will connect this Sunday, support our troops, and enjoy this spectacle. terrific.”

What other celebrities have played for the troops?

It’s not just American troops who get special treatment.

BFBS’ dedicated live events team have provided star-studded entertainment for British troops wherever they are – in frontline operations, at personnel recovery centres, at the Royal Hospital Chelsea and more.

Families left behind when their loved ones are deployed also receive the same level of care and consideration.

BFBS live events have kept personnel and military family morale high since 1946.

Some of the most popular events they have organized include football legend David Beckham’s visit to Afghanistan, a stand-up concert by comedian Jason Manford, a crowd-pleasing concert by former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell and a dazzling performance by the only magician to win Britain’s Got Talent, LCpl Richard Jones.

Of his whirlwind tour of Afghanistan in May 2010, David Beckham said: “It was truly an inspiring visit.

David Beckham Afghanistan Troops Football Credit BFBS Live Events
David Beckham meets soldiers in Afghanistan in May 2010 through BFBS Live Events (Photo: BFBS Live Events).

Angie Avlianos, BFBS Live Events Manager, speaking about David Beckham’s trip to Afghanistan, said it was fascinating to see someone so famous sitting alongside serving personnel.

In an interview with BFBS, Forces Station broadcaster Hal Stewart, Angie said: “It was amazing to see someone like him sitting in a kitchen eating Angel Delight surrounded by people who just wanted a moment to be able to. walk away and say ‘I ‘I just met David Beckham’.

“I think he shook hands with about 10,000 people in three days.”

Entertaining the troops like this is not a new idea. Maintaining the morale of armed forces personnel has been a priority since the start of the Second World War.

The Entertainments National Service Association, or ENSA as it was more commonly known, was founded in September 1939 by writer and actor Basil Dean and silent film star and comedian Leslie Henson.

Together they staged thousands of shows throughout World War II, from Iceland to Rangoon.

Dame Vera Lynn rehearsing in front of a microphone 300756 CREDIT PA
Dame Vera Lynn rehearsing in front of a microphone (Photo: PA Images).

Dame Vera Lynn, the darling and iconic singer of WWII forces, was much loved by armed forces personnel for her dedication to performing her iconic songs We’ll Meet Again and The White Cliffs of Dover for troops in places like the Middle East, India and Burma, now known as Myanmar.

She spent the rest of her life supporting veterans of the Burma campaign, which saw her awarded the Burma Star for her efforts.

She also had her own BBC radio show, Sincerely Yours, which linked personnel serving in Europe with their loved ones back home.