Janet Jackson on Saturday returned to the stage after a four-month hiatus for mysterious health reasons, bringing her energetic dance show to Dubai.
The pop superstar performed in the Gulf emirate as the entertainer to close the Dubai World Cup, the world’s most lucrative horse race.
She went ahead with the show following a series of cancellations which included an abrupt delay of the entire European portion of her “Unbreakable” tour.
With a troupe of choreographed dancers gliding behind her, Jackson put on a medley of hits including her classic “Control” and the more recent and funkier “All Nite (Don’t Stop).”
Jackson — whose 2004 performance at another sporting event, the Super Bowl, was marred by the exposure of her breast — left open no chance of a similar “wardrobe malfunction” in the Muslim emirate, wearing an arms-length black jumpsuit with an oversized necklace.
Jackson last year released “Unbreakable,” her first album since the death of her brother Michael Jackson in 2009, and embarked on a major tour.
But until Dubai, she had not performed since November 22 in Japan. On Christmas Eve, she announced a delay in her North American tour, saying that she needed an urgent operation.
The 49-year-old revealed no other details about her health but later issued a statement to deny speculation that she was suffering from cancer.
With her European tour off, she is not due to perform again until May 14 in Las Vegas as she resumes performances in North America.
Jackson has ties to the Gulf as she married Wissam Al Mana, a billionaire businessman from Qatar, in a private ceremony in 2012.
Her late brother moved temporarily to Bahrain at the invitation of a prince as the King of Pop tried to evade the media glare following his 2005 acquittal on child molestation charges.
Janet Jackson helped reshape the concert landscape in the late 1980s with her “Control” and “Rhythm Nation” tours, considered landmarks for their elaborate dance routines and messages of empowerment.