Runaway (Janet Jackson song)

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Single by Janet Jackson
from the album Design of a Decade: 1986–1996
Released August 29, 1995 (1995-08-29)
Recorded 1994–June 1995
Length 3:35
Label A&M
  • Janet Jackson
  • Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
Janet Jackson singles chronology
"Twenty Foreplay"
Music sample

"Runaway" is a song recorded by American singer Janet Jackson for her first greatest hits album, Design of a Decade: 1986–1996 (1995). Written and produced by Jackson and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the track was released as the album's lead single on August 29, 1995, by A&M Records.

Background and composition[edit]

"Runaway" was created to be a possible duet with Jackson's brother Michael Jackson, but they chose "Scream" instead.[2] "Runaway" blends hard pop-hip hop beats with influences from African and Asian music, and has a similar sound to her previous hits "Escapade" and "Whoops Now". Towards the end of the song, Jackson breaks the fourth wall with the lyric, "Ooh, didn't quite hit the note/That wasn't such a good time". Africa, Nairobi, Tuscany, Australia, Mexico, Spain, and Paris are mentioned in the song.

Chart performance[edit]

"Runaway" made Jackson the first female artist in Billboard's history to debut in the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100, entering at number six in September 1995.[3] It eventually peaked at number three for five weeks. It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and sold 800,000 copies domestically.[4][5] The song also reached number two in Canada, in addition to being a top ten hit in the United Kingdom and Australia and a moderate success in continental Europe, reaching the top 30 in most countries.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Runaway" was directed by Marcus Nispel and choreographed by Tina Landon on August 27, 1995. It starts from in New York City where Jackson is in her apartment. She walks in the living room and puts her dog on the floor. She climbs out the window and jumps out, landing on a telephone pole. Jackson travels around the world and visits many places including Egypt, India, China, Africa, Chile, Brazil, Tuscany, Paris, Australia, and the Great Buddha Statue of Kamakura in Japan. Upon returning from her trip, Jackson climbs back into her apartment to be greeted by her dog. The video and its production documentary appear exclusively on the Design of a Decade 1986/1996 video release.

Live performances[edit]

Jackson has performed the song on all of her tours since its release. "Runaway" was included on the setlist of her 1998 The Velvet Rope Tour. The stage reveals the "deranged madness" of the following "hallucinatory" segment, featuring Jackson in a jester's headdress and satin bustier, with dancers dressed as "flowers, Mad Hatters, and horny gnomes" in a "Wonderland" setting. Jackson performs an upbeat medley of "Escapade", "When I Think of You", "Miss You Much", "Runaway" and "Love Will Never Do (Without You)" across a "blindingly bright, poppy-induced set design" with varied props, which include a smiling clock tower, inflatable moons, mammoth chaise, vases, and books.[6] It was also performed by the singer during the All for You Tour in 2001 and 2002, in a medley with "When I Think of You", "Miss You Much" and "Escapade" with the stage decorated with carnival balloons and costumes.[7] It was used as the encore song for the Rock Witchu Tour in 2008, with Jackson and her dancers wearing white outfits.[8] "Runaway" was also dedicated to cities Paris and Sydney on her 2011 Number Ones, Up Close and Personal tour.

Track listings[edit]

"Runaway" was released with "When I Think of You" as a double A-side in certain territories.



  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Fred, Bronson (September 16, 1995). "Janet Jackson Has Done It Again". Billboard. BPI Communications. 107 (37): 96. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved April 30, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "American single certifications – Janet Jackson – Runaway". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved January 10, 2015.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  5. ^ a b "Best-Selling Records of 1995". Billboard. BPI Communications. 108 (3): 56. January 20, 1996. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 5, 2015. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Janet Jackson - Runaway
  10. ^ Janet Jackson - Runaway
  11. ^ Janet Jackson Runaway USA Promo 5" CD SINGLE (57046)
  12. ^ Janet Jackson - Runaway
  13. ^ Janet Jackson - Runaway
  14. ^ Janet Jackson Runaway Australia 5" CD SINGLE (52590)
  15. ^ Janet Jackson - Runaway
  16. ^ Janet Jackson - Runaway
  17. ^ Janet Jackson - Runaway / When I Think Of You
  18. ^ Janet Jackson - Runaway / When I Think Of You
  19. ^ Janet Jackson - Runaway / When I Think Of You
  20. ^ Janet Jackson - Runaway / When I Think Of You
  21. ^ Janet Jackson Runaway USA 5" CD SINGLE (53405)
  22. ^ Janet Jackson - Runaway / When I Think Of You
  23. ^ Janet Jackson Runaway France 5" CD SINGLE (55775)
  24. ^ Janet Jackson Runaway Japan 3" CD SINGLE (50541)
  25. ^ Janet Jackson - Runaway / When I Think Of You (Remixes)
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h "Janet Jackson – Runaway –". Retrieved September 14, 2007. 
  27. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved July 3, 2016. 
  28. ^ "Janet in Denmark". MJJ Charts. Retrieved November 8, 2008. 
  29. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 42–1995". Radio 538 (in Dutch). Top 40. Retrieved November 8, 2008. 
  30. ^ "Chart Data: Janet Jackson". Retrieved November 8, 2008. 
  31. ^ " – Chartverfolgung – Janet Jackson – Runaway". Media Control (in German). Retrieved November 8, 2008. 
  32. ^ "Italian Charts". IFPI. Retrieved February 22, 2009. 
  33. ^ "The Irish Charts". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved November 8, 2008. 
  34. ^ a b "DOCOMO OSAKAN HOT 100|CHART[YEARLY CHART]". Retrieved 31 August 2016. 
  35. ^ "Chart Stats – Janet Jackson – Runaway". The Official Charts Company. Chart Stats. Retrieved November 8, 2008. 
  36. ^ "Chart Stats – Janet Jackson – Runaway". The Official Charts Company. Chart Stats. Retrieved November 8, 2008. 
  37. ^ "Chart Stats – Janet Jackson – Runaway". The Official Charts Company. Chart Stats. Retrieved November 8, 2008. 
  38. ^ a b c d "Design of a Decade: 1986-1996 > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved November 8, 2008. 
  39. ^ "End Of Year Aria Chart - 1995". ARIA. Retrieved September 14, 2007. 
  40. ^ Canada Top 50 Dance Tracks of 1995
  41. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1995". Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  42. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1996". Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  43. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1995 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  44. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Janet Jackson – Runaway". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 21, 2015. 
  45. ^ "British single certifications – Janet Jackson – Runaway". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved January 10, 2015.  Enter Runaway in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search

External links[edit]