"2300 Jackson Street. Always home. 2300 Jackson Street. Always home." - from "2300 Jackson Street" by The Jacksons
Janet Jackson had a sentimental homecoming Friday in Gary.
The singer, youngest sibling of the Jackson family, and her brother Randy, spent time at the Jackson childhood home at 2300 Jackson St. in Gary. They also visited Roosevelt High School to talk with students and encourage them to pursue their dreams.
The Jacksons' visit to Gary came a day after Janet's tour stop on her State of The World Tour at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois.
Janet told Roosevelt students she was proud to be back in Gary.
"The last time I was here I was eight years old," said the Grammy-winning singer. She said when her brothers began to get famous and the family moved to Los Angeles she was about two or three years old.
The soft spoken singer said she was excited to be back but it was also very emotional.
"When I saw the house ... I just started crying," she said, with tears in her eyes. "Me and my family are so blessed. I'm so thankful," Janet said.
"We wanted to come here and visit Roosevelt," Randy said. Jackson siblings Jackie and Rebbie attended the school when the family lived in Gary.
"When we left (Gary) all we had was love and a dream," Randy added.
During the Q & A, students asked advice for going after an entertainment career, wondered who the siblings admire in the music field and other inquiries about their show business lives.
Janet told students she looks fondly on those younger days with her family.
"I miss those times when I was with my brothers and sisters and we would all be performing together," she said.
The singer, who had her first child in February at the age of 51, said she feels extremely blessed to have had a chance to have a baby.
"Every doctor told me it wasn't possible. But I've got a beautiful, healthy son. He'll be 10 months old," she said.
When asked advice for going after dreams, Janet said "Stay focused and keep your dream." She added there's much out there to detain people from reaching their goals.
Randy added, "Be the best you can be, work hard and keep God in it."
"Yes, that's most important, " Janet stressed. "Always keep God close to you."
Janet said she had a number of favorite musical artists but her main inspiration in the business definitely has roots with her brothers.
"That's where it all started for me," she said. She also enjoys various jazz musicians, the iconic Motown artists, Bruno Mars and Chance the Rapper.
When a student asked what a favorite past album of hers was, she singled out "Rhythm Nation."
"When I was writing it, the things (that were happening then) are still happening." She pointed to "drugs, ignorance, racism" and the other tragedies and evils currently going on in the world.