"Together Again," indeed. During her sold-out show at the Hollywood Bowl Sunday, Janet Jackson hosted a family reunion of sorts. The 51-year-old pop music icon took a moment to bring many of her former backup dancers onstage. Jenna Dewan-Tatum, who was part of the All for You Tour in 2001 and 2002, had been looking forward to their get-together all weekend.
Before the 7:30 p.m. start time, Dewan-Tatum shared several photos from her pre-acting days with Jackson. After she reunited with her friends, she shared some "backstage" footage with fans via Instagram Stories. "This is crazy," she said as Jackson performed "R&B Junkie" onstage.
After three songs, Jackson stood onstage while everyone applauded for several minutes.
"Are you ready to party?" she asked fans. "I said, are you ready to party?!"
Dewan-Tatum was busy bonding backstage with tour-mate Alison Faulk, who just so happened to choreograph Channing Tatum's Magic Mike Live revue. As she joked in one Instagram Story, she and Faulk went from "roommates to male strippers to being back onstage with Janet Jackson." It was a full circle moment for Dewan-Tatum, who talked about how Jackson helped make her dreams come true during a May appearance on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen. "I kind of owe everything to Janet—my entire life. She was my dream job, my first big dance job. Because of her I met certain people who then led me to others, then led me to acting, then led me to here," the World of Dance host recalled. "All roads lead back to Janet!"
Jackson was thrilled to have everyone back together. "My solo career took off when I was 19 years old. I decided to create a family of my own. I became very close to those who danced with me, but even closer to those who danced on tour with me," she said. "I spent time with their families. I would stay with them; they would stay with me. I called them the 'kids.'" In the middle of introducing her dancers, she joked, "Y'all better help me. I'm 51...and I have a baby!" After Dewan-Tatum's name was announced, she twirled several times before giving her a hug.
Dewan-Tatum and Faulk weren't the only ones excited to relive the past, of course. "Back on stage with my beautiful friend & absolute favourite @janetjackson my heart feels so full it could burst! There is nothing like sharing a stage with you, nothing compares AT ALL! Couldn't be more grateful & honoured to be back with you performing and with EVERY Dancer from EVERY tour she has ever done!" British dancer James Collins wrote on Instagram. "WTF!!! This has been beyond & I will cherish it for the rest of my life! Feel so honoured to be apart of it all & this HISTORY!!! J, your The most loyal, genuine, kind, generous person I've ever met & the fact we stay in contact & hang out after all these years warms my heart & you brought my little family out too. love you long time and I'll ALWAYS drop anything and everything for you!!!"
Emmanuelle Chriqui, Erin Foster, Heidi Klum, Nicole Richie and Raven-Symoné were also spotted in the audience. A concertgoer tells E! News, "Janet's mom was wheeled in before the show started and was escorted to the front area of the stage. She had a huge smile on her face and looked proud." Raven-Symoné, who received concert tickets as a 30th birthday gift on The View in 2015, was equally ecstatic; she met Jackson after the concert and shared a picture on Instagram. "Let me just say..@janetjackson I did not run away, I kept my verbal cool, I did fall out after I left the empresses presence. She smelled amazing, looked spectacular, and was just perfect. @theviewabc thank you for helping me get these tickets, and thank you to #Janet Jackson for being an amazing role model for me," the Raven's Home star wrote. "Since she was 7 she has been working in this industry and she continues to slay the masses with just a smile."
Jackson celebrated the L.A. stop of her State of the World tour with an after-party at Lure. Tatum joined his wife at the club, and other guests included Ja'net Dubois and Randy Jackson.
Over the weekend, E! News spoke to Jackson's creative director, Gil Duldulao, who summed up their vision for the tour: "I think that was the main point is for the group and mass of people to come together and try to be positive in such a world we live in now," he explained, adding that his personal goal was to make Jackson's audience "remember who she is and to celebrate her."
"She's such a legend," Duldulao added. "And I think I did well."
—Reporting by Amanda Williams