It’s no surprise that musical talent runs in the family for Janet Jackson, based on her famous brothers’ rise to fame and Michael Jackson also becoming a pop icon.
However, she’s related to another iconic artist, as Janet Jackson and Stevie Wonders are cousins.
Janet mentioned that tidbit at least twice, and based on reports, has the family tree to prove that she’s not just calling Stevie her cousin.
How are Janet Jackson and Stevie Wonder cousins?
Recently, singer Janet Jackson has appeared in a Lifetime documentary filmed over five years of her life. It features the Rhythm Nation and Control singer opening up about many topics, including her Super Bowl controversy and friendship with Justin Timberlake.
She’s collaborated with many musical talents and is also related to several legends. Janet’s the tenth and youngest child in the Jackson family, born to Joe and Katherine Jackson. Her brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael formed The Jackson 5.
Beyond her famous brothers, she’s related to another Motown legend. Janet explained how she and musical pioneer Stevie Wonder are related during a BBC interview.
“People don’t know this one,” Janet reportedly shared during the interview. “Stevie is actually our cousin on my mother’s side. We don’t talk about this…but yeah he is.”
Janet went on to say not many people in her family brought up Stevie, but she began mentioning his relation more often.
“I’m the only one in the family that started talking about it just maybe, a couple years ago. He is really my cousin,” she said during the interview.
Stevie was the third of five children born to Lula Mae Hardaway, an American songwriter who helped write many of her son’s songs.
Janet inducted her cousin into NAACP Hall of Fame
It’s not the first time Janet has let the world know that she and Steve Wonder are cousins. Janet was on stage for the 39th NAACP Image Awards ceremony to help induct Wonder into their Hall of Fame. She referred to him as her cousin during her short speech.
“Stevie Wonder has always been an inspiration to me,” Janet said, adding, “Not only is he a musical genius, but his tireless work to have Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday declared a national holiday will never be forgotten.”
“It is with great respect and an abundance of love that we induct my cousin, Stevie Wonder, into the NAACP Hall of Fame,” Janet said at the ceremony.
Wonder, 71, has released plenty of memorable songs over the years, including Superstition, Ribbon in the Sky, and You Are the Sunshine of My Life. His song Happy Birthday from the 1980s album Hotter Than July was part of his campaign to establish Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday as a national holiday.
In addition to his NAACP Hall of Fame induction, Wonder has won 25 Grammy Awards and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
His 55-year-old cousin Janet hasn’t done too bad herself with five Grammy Awards, 11 Billboard Music Awards, 11 American Music Awards, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Janet Jackson and her cousin Stevie Wonder are both in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with Janet’s brothers, so musical greatness certainly runs in the family!