By Margeaux Watson
Updated December 31, 2008 at 12:00 PM EST

From enduring poor album sales and severing ties with her record label to reportedly suffering migraine-associated vertigo and canceling her tour, Janet Jackson could not catch a break in 2008.

It all started with the February release of her predictably oversexed ninth CD, Discipline, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Top 200, but sold only 181,000 copies — less than two-thirds of what her previous disc, 20 Y.O., sold in 2006. Discipline‘s lackluster debut confirmed the obvious: Fans are turned off by Jackson’s breathy come-ons and soft-core dirty talk. But unfortunately, she didn’t get the memo. So, rather than gracefully bowing out of the spotlight to get her career back on track, she tapped another aging sex symbol, LL Cool J, to be the opening act on her ill-advised Rock Witchu Tour. No sooner than they hit the road in September, Jackson announced her abrupt departure from Island Def Jam. Days later, she was rushed to the hospital after falling “suddenly ill” before a concert in Montreal. A multitude of postponed shows followed, prompting LL to abandon the tour not long before her camp nixed all of the remaining dates.

I have no idea what Jackson’s next move will be in the new year, but I certainly hope it doesn’t include any more lyrics like this creepy little nugget from Discipline‘s icky title track: “I misbehaved/And my punishment should fit my crime/Tie me to something/Take off all my clothes/Daddy, I want u to take ur time.”

It’s time for Miss Jackson to put on some clothes and sing a new tune.