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15 bombshells from night one of Janet Jackson’s revealing documentary

The first half of the Lifetime doc focuses on the pop star's childhood, growing up alongside the Jackson 5 and of course, her famous brother Michael.
/ Source: TODAY

On Friday night, Lifetime and A&E dropped the first two parts of "Janet," a riveting four-part documentary about the life of Janet Jackson tied to the 40th anniversary of the singer’s self-titled debut album.

As cameras followed the superstar around for five years, Janet talked all about her "secret" marriage to James DeBarge, watching topless girls perform in Las Vegas as a child and attending house parties with David Bowie.

RELATED: 17 shocking revelations from night 2 of Janet Jackson’s explosive documentary

Airing simultaneously on both Lifetime and A&E, the four-part series continues on Saturday, Jan. 29.

Since there were so many shocking revelations from the first night, TODAY rounded up 15 of the biggest bombshells.

1) Janet didn’t have a bedroom growing up

Since Janet’s mom, Katherine Jackson, worked at Gary’s local Sears store while her dad, Joseph “Joe” Jackson, held a job at Chicago’s Inland Steel Company, the pair raised their nine children — Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Latoya, Marlon, Michael, Randy and Janet — in a tiny 670 sq ft home.

In 1957, Marlon’s twin brother, Brandon, died very shortly after his premature birth. “When we were little, this house seemed so big. This is where we grew up, played, fought, made music. This is where it started,” Randy said in “Janet.”

Katherine added, “Life in the house, in Indiana, wasn’t easy because there were only two bedrooms, a living room, and a kitchen. And the kitchen was very, very tiny and we had them all try to eat at the table.”

Although Janet tried to remember her time in the house, she said that nothing came to mind because she was only 2 or 3-years-old at the time. So Randy told her where she used to sleep and he noted that Janet, LaToya and Rebbie made the living room their bedroom while the boys took the extra room.

2) The Jackson's actually don't have a street named after them in Gary, Indiana

In Janet's hometown of Gary, Indiana, there's a street named 600 W Jackson St. Although many fans believe that street was named after the famous musical group, Janet said that's a pretty common misconception.

"A lot of people think that they named this street after us," she said. "But it was always Jackson St."

Michael And Janet
Janet Jackson with her brother, Michael.Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

3) As a child, Michael wet the bed

Since Randy and his brothers' bedroom was so small, he said that everyone slept on a three-tier bunk bed, which appeared to have enough room for him and the Jackson 5.

"Jackie slept on the bottom. Marlon, myself, and Michael slept in the middle, and Jermaine and Tito slept at the top," Randy said while showing Janet the room.

"Three of you slept in one bunk bed?" Janet said shocked.

"Yeah, one bed," Randy replied. "Marlon and Michael used to pee on me so I was stuck in the... "

"Really?" Janet interjected.

"Yeah," Randy said.

Jacksons On TV
The Jackson family film a TV show at Burbank Studios in November 1976.Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

4) David Bowie once offered Michael and Randy drugs at a party

After the Jackson 5's music took off, Joe and Katherine uprooted their family to a bigger home in Los Angeles that had an "Olympic-sized swimming pool," a Badminton court and three gorgeous acres of land.

“They left the two-bedroom house we lived in and they moved to a whole different lifestyle," Rebbie said. "And they could afford and do things that they weren’t doing before."

Tito recalled being amazed by the palm trees and feeling it was still summer in the wintertime. "I couldn't believe Christmas had no snow," he said.

However, the one thing Janet remembered was the fabulous parties her family used to throw.

"We used to have parties all the time. All the entertainers would be there: Bing Crosby, Sammy Davis Jr. You would see Marvin Gaye, and Diana Ross, and a lot of the Motown people," she said.

"And I remember one of the parties that we had (David) Bowie came. And I guess to get away from everyone, he was looking for a little room," Janet added.

Bowie found a quiet place to sit when he came across Michael and Randy in the house.

"Michael and I are sitting in one of the other rooms away from the party," Randy recalled. "So Bowie walks in and he offered us some of what he was doing to get high. We were looking at each other like 'no.' We didn't know what it was. We were like, 'No. No, thank you.'"

Janet Jackson Portrait Session At Home
Janet Jackson poses for a portrait at the Jackson family home in January 1977 in Los Angeles, California.Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

5) Janet faced racist abuse after moving to the Los Angeles neighborhood Encino

Living in Encino, Los Angeles, was a new change of pace for Janet and her family. Wende Watt, their next-door neighbor, recalls the neighborhood being upset over the Jacksons' arrival.

"I think the Jacksons were the first Black family to move in so it was a little controversial at that time," she said.

Janet noted that she had a hard time fitting into the neighborhood.

"A lot of people didn't want us there so they had this petition going around so that we wouldn't be in the neighborhood," she said. "I remember walking down the street and being called the n-word by someone driving by yelling it out. Being told to go back home to your country and feeling it at school."

"Some of the teachers and some of the kids touching your hair because your hair was different from their's or your skin. Rubbing it like, 'Does that come off?' No! Does yours?" Janet continued.

6) Janet saw topless women perform at a young age

In 1974, the "All for You" artist displayed her amazing singing skills when she joined her brothers on-stage during their Las Vegas act. She remembers the city being a terrible place for children.

"Remember, we were the only kids performing here in Vegas," she said. "There weren't any other kids performing here and it wasn't really family-oriented."

So in between acts, Janet and her two closest siblings — Michael and Randy — would go "looking for trouble" and that's when they saw a risqué Burlesque show.

"We’d watch the women in huge feathers and all the rhinestones, glittery outfits and they were completely topless," Janet recalled. "But that was my life."

7) Janet didn't like her first few albums

"My father was in charge of my life, my career, and he was my manager," she said.

Due to her having no creative control over her sound, Janet didn't like how her first few albums turned out. In fact, she said that she didn't even like the cover art for her "Dream Street" album because that was all her dad's idea.

"It was really about their albums. The kind of music that they wanted me to make. I didn't write any of the material," she said. "It was just a matter of going to the studio, doing what they wanted you to do, and then you leave."

"I didn't want my last name to be on the album," Janet continued. I just wanted to go by my first name. I wanted them to accept me for me, to be interested in this for me, not because I was the brother, sister of — but that's everything that this industry takes advantage of. And they wanted to play on that. And I didn't want that."

In order to get the freedom she so greatly desired, Janet thought it would be best for her to tie the knot, so she and her childhood boyfriend, James DeBarge, made things official.

"I wanted to be able to stand on my own feet," she said. "And at that time, I felt that there was no other way I would be able to kind of get my own life."

Janet Jackson Portrait Session
Janet Jackson poses for her "Dream Street" album cover in 1984 in Los Angeles, California.Harry Langdon / Getty Images

8) James DeBarge got high on his wedding day to Janet

In 1984, the "Rhythm Nation" singer secretly tied the knot to DeBarge in Grand Rapids, Michigan, after her sister LaToya encouraged her to jump the broom.

"I remember going to Michigan, to Grand Rapids and his uncle, he was a pastor, and he married us," Janet recalled. "I even remember putting a ring on my finger and putting it on the wrong finger."

“When we got married and came back to the hotel, he said, ‘OK, I’ll be right back,’” she continued. “And I’m sitting in the hotel room in Grand Rapids, Michigan, by myself, just 18, and for three hours, he never came back. I don’t know, maybe it’s this person in me that wants to help people subconsciously. When it comes to relationships, somehow I’m attracted to people that use drugs.”

Due to DeBarge's constant drug use, Janet ended up getting their marriage annulled a year later.

9) Janet remembers fighting with DeBarge over pills

The “Feedback” singer noted that DeBarge constantly took "advantage" of the innocence she had in herself at the time. Sometimes she would get into fights with him when she grew tired of his drug use.

"I remember times when we would — I would find the pills and I would take them and try to flush them down the toilet and we would be rolling around on the floor fighting for them," she said. "It's not a life for anyone."

12th Annual American Music Awards
Janet Jackson and James DeBarge.Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

10) Janet didn't want to be in 'Fame'

Although she got to play the talented Cleo Hewitt on "Fame," Janet admits that the 1982 drama series wasn't for her.

"I didn't want to be on 'Fame.' I didn't want to do the show. The kids were great, but I just didn't want to do that. I did it for my father," she said.

"A lot of times, I was late for work. I didn't care 'cause what was more important than my work was James (DeBarge)," she added. "I would wait for James sometimes to pick me up. And I mean, wait two and a half hours late. I eventually learned that he was into drugs."

11) Janet didn't have a secret baby

After her marriage to DeBarge ended, rumors started to swirl that Janet and the "Rhythm of the Night" singer had a secret baby. While some outlets reported that it might have been her two nieces Brandi, 39, and Stevanna, 31, other news outlets alleged that Janet gave her little girl to Rebbie to raise.

"They were saying I was raising her daughter and I couldn't believe it," Rebbie said.

To dispute the claims that Janet was pregnant while making "Fame," the show's lead actor Debbie Allen said she never saw Janet with a baby bump on set.

"These were just rumors that were flying around, honey, like hash in a diner," Allen said. "But what was sticking on the wall was, where was the baby? Nobody saw a baby. I mean, she was with us all day, every day."

Although Janet says that she's never had a secret child, she did say that she knew how the rumors started.

"When I was doing 'Fame,' a lot of the kids thought I was pregnant because I had gained weight and I had started taking birth control pills and back then you could pick up weight taking them and that's what happened to me," she said. "So that rumor started going around."

"I could never keep a child away from James," she continued. "How could I keep a child away from their father? I could never do that. That's not right."

12) Michael started to change after 'Thriller'

Although Janet notes that she and Michael were "very close" growing up, she said she couldn't help but notice how much their relationship changed after Michael released his sixth-studio album, "Thriller," in 1982.

"Whenever Mike would do an album, he'd throw me in his car, and we listened to it from front to back to see what I thought. I remember really liking the 'Thriller' album. But for the first time in my life, that's when I felt it was different between the two of us that his shift was happening."

"He would always come in my room and we'd talk. In this particular time, he came in my bedroom," Janet recalled. "Neither one of us said a word to each other."

"That's a time where Mike and I started kind of going our separate ways. We weren't as close and it may have been just because he was so massive, so huge."

13) DeBarge didn't propose to Janet when they got engaged

In “Janet,” Rebbie notes that she was shocked by her sister’s first marriage to DeBarge and Janet’s secret second marriage to Rene Elizondo Jr. in 1991 because Janet never told her that she was tying the knot.

But when Janet recalled how different her second engagement was to her first, that's when Janet revealed that DeBarge didn't do a lot of planning when he initially popped the question to her.

"James never proposed to me," she said. "He never gave me a ring or anything like that. So it was difficult."

14) Janet had a hard time breaking out from under Michael's shadow

Music producer Jimmy Jam remembers how hard it was for Janet to find her voice in the music industry because she was constantly being asked about her famous brother in interviews.

"Every press opportunity that she had was always about Michael Jackson's little sister or how's your big brother?" Jimmy Jam — who worked on Janet's "Control" album — recalled. "It was inevitable, I guess. She never really seemed to escape it, even with all the success she was having."

But despite the challenges she faced, Janet said she's always been "thankful" to be a part of her family.

"It opened up a great deal of doors for me," she said.

15) Janet didn't tell record execs that 'Rhythm Nation' was going to be a 'socially-conscious' album

In 1989, Janet released her fourth studio album, "Rhythm Nation 1814." She used the record to speak out on social issues that were important to her.

“There were things in the world that concerned me, things I wanted to say,” she said.

"'Rhythm' Nation was a little bit of a risk," Jam said in the doc. "We knew that making a socially conscious album was probably not what the record company or anybody else was thinking we should probably be doing so we didn't tell them."

"Janet" continues on Lifetime and A&E on Saturday, Jan. 29, at 8:00 p.m. ET.