Watching him on Lifetime’s The Jacksons: Next Generation, there’s no doubt that Poppa T has swag. Poppa T has pull. So is it really too far off base to believe that Poppa T also has a daughter by the name of Tanay Jackson?
Tanay Jackson may not be one of the Jacksons, but she’s definitely made a name for herself. And that was before her “brothers” came knocking at her door with a camera crew in tow. By all accounts, Tanay has been a part of the fam — or at least has claimed to be — for years now. So why the sudden interest in shutting her down? Jealousy? Drama? Ratings? Yes, yes and yes. The thirst is real. And it’s starting to look like 3T’s trying to sip on some of Tanay Jackson’s fame.
The DNA test results revealed on The Jacksons: Next Generation were supposed to put a stop to what appeared to be a crazed (yet clever) fan taking advantage of the Jackson family name. But when the episode aired and the fan didn’t stop, those test results became less and less of a factor in this whole equation. Because, clearly that meant we were dealing with someone with some serious mental issues, right? And if that’s the case, it’s a little sad and scary, right? So why are Taj, TJ and Taryll doing so much laughing out loud with their fans and calling Tanay crazy all over social media? Why did Taj, TJ and Taryll seek her out to come on the show? Why are we listening to Taj, TJ and Taryll?
1. Who knows what?
If we’re not mistaken, it wasn’t long ago that the guys were crying over a box of memorabilia. It was TJ who shared that most of what he knew about his childhood and the pictures that he had of himself with his family, he found online. That doesn’t really give them a strong leg to stand on when it comes to confirming or denying anything related to the Jackson family.
What they couldn’t deny were the things Tanay told them about her relationship with their father. They also can’t deny that “any smart person” would repeat the test, which is what TJ said he was going to request — if it came back positive.
To their father, the boys requesting a test at all was ridiculous (ditto Tito), because he told his sons from the start that he didn’t have a daughter. So, that should’ve been enough for them, right? But there was still at least a little shred of her story that made them go, “Hmm.”
2. Two words: Stevanna Jackson
There’s no denying that she’s a member of the Jackson family, but for years inquiring minds have wanted to know if Stevanna is the daughter of Randy Jackson, as they claim, or born to a young Janet Jackson when her career was just starting to take off in the early ’80s. While not many people would find the scandal surprising, knowing the lengths that Joe Jackson went to to ensure his children’s success, what would be a shocker is actually having someone in the family talking about it at length in an interview —- or on a reality show. Why? It’s just not the Jackson way. It’s why a 24-year-old Stevanna managed to graduate with her master’s from Harvard this year, and still no one can say whether Janet was a proud mom or aunt that day.
And no one expects to know anytime soon. The Jackson family is infamously private and secretive. It’s the reason the media makes up stories and speculates. The Jacksons don’t talk. Janet Jackson was married for almost a decade before the world found out. Michael Jackson kept his children in masks and draped under cloths for years. And we won’t go into all of the abuse scandals. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Poppa T has some splainin’ to do, but just isn’t ready to do it yet.
3. Tanay Jackson is already Tanay Jackson
OK, so maybe Tanay Jackson isn’t a Jackson — at least that’s not the legal name that was revealed on the DNA test results. But since she was raised by her mother, who allegedly had an affair with Tito while he was married, it makes sense that she wouldn’t be documented as a Jackson even if she was one.
That’s the story she should be sticking to, but it appears that Tanay has done several interviews in the past where not only is her birth name different, but she talks about the difficulty of growing up and then launching a career with the Jackson name. (C’mon Tanay! We’re tryin’ to help you out.)
Whether there’s truth to any of it or not, what’s overlooked is that, yes, Tanay Jackson has made it as a Jackson and is already sitting pretty on hip-hop and R&B music charts, a little higher than her “Aunt Janet.” So a star on the rise who’s been using the Jackson name doesn’t really gain much by voluntarily going onto a reality show where she knows that her DNA is going to be tested. As the boys admitted themselves, she gets a lot of press. It’s not like she needed any more… and definitely not anything that would knock her hustle.
4. Tanay Jackson has been Tanay Jackson
Numerous interviews under her belt. Concerts. Chart-topping songs. Like any star, there were a lot of years in the making of Tanay Jackson. Many years that Tito Jackson knew about her. Years that Tito’s sons knew about her. They were already told that she wasn’t their sister, so if the real concern is protecting the family name and keeping Tanay from continuing to profit from it, where are the years spent taking legal action against her? Why is it that it’s Tanay who took Tito to court… even if she didn’t show up?
It was during those years that Tito told her that if he were her father, he’d be there for her. So…
5. A picture is worth a thousand words
We’re not sure what “being there” means to him, but it sure looks like Poppa T has been somewhere pretty close to Tanay Jackson at least a couple of times… and not in the, “Hey, stay away from my family and stop all of this craziness” capacity that he describes on the show.
Is Photoshop another one of Tanay’s many talents, or is Tito not telling us something?