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  • Janet Jackson celebrated her 49th birthday today with a surprise announcement of a new album and new tour.  Does she still have it?

    Janet Jackson celebrated her 49th birthday today with a surprise announcement of a new album and new tour. Does she still have it?

    Janet Jackson, one of the most dominant performers of the 1980s and ’90s is about to launch a comeback after a seven- year hiatus with a new album and tour, she said in a surprise announcement at midnight today (May 16). Does she still have it?

    Legacy acts, as they’re called, often find that their fan bases are still willing to support them, even in middle age.

    Madonna, who is 56, recently released Rebel Heart, her 13th studio album, and it has been a commercial success. It debuted at No. 2 on both the U.S. and U.K. album charts, amid critical praise, and may have spurred Jackson to get back in the game.

    Jackson, who turns 49 today, released a video and tweeted what is being widely reported as the name of her new album #ConversationsInACafe.

    “I promised you’d hear it from my lips, and now you will,” Jackson said in the video, which is really more audio. It only features a computer screen from a recording booth.

    “This year: new music, new world tour, a new movement. I’ve been listening. Let’s keep the conversation going,” she said in an obvious tie-in to her Tweet.

    Rumors flew last year that Jackson was working on a new album, but she promptly shot them down over Twitter. But Madonna may have paved the way for the pop singer with her success.

    Jackson may also have her eye, eventually, on a lucrative Las Vegas residency. Legacy acts like Celine Dion and Elton John have done well there. Mariah Carey is also selling out her shows.

    Jackson married billionaire Wissam Al Mana in 2012. He’s a Qatari business magnate who owns 55 companies and is nine years her junior.

    Many of her fans thought she’d retired and have been urging her to make new music. Her return raises the question whether there’s trouble in her marriage, because she certainly doesn’t need the money.

    So far, though, there have been no reports of marital discord.

    Jackson’s Discipline, her 10th and most recent studio album, was released in 2008 on Island Records. It was a departure from her previous work. It delved into electro-pop, house and dance with R&B and hip hop tracks mixed in.

    Although it debuted at No. 1 on U.S. album charts and was generally well received by critics, it was her least successful album. It sold about 446,000 copies domestically, still enough to qualify for gold status.

    In contrast, her best selling album in the United States, 1989’s Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814, sold 8.5 million copies. Worldwide, her best was 1993’s self-titled janet.. It sold 20 million copies.

    As the say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Jackson’s fans are certainly pumped for her return.

    Check out the video below, let us know your thoughts and be sure to follow IM on Twitter for the latest music news.

    Announcement from Janet Jackson on Vimeo.