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It's been a whirlwind year for Janet Jackson.
The superstar opened up in an interview on Atlanta radio station Q100 Tuesday, talking about the media scrutiny she's endured. Jackson said "it gets pretty painful" when tabloid stories involve her nieces and nephews and "it's hard to shield them."
The "Make Me" singer specifically mentioned an occasion where a "silly story" said one of her nieces was actually her daughter. "It's just crazy," Jackson stated. "Why wouldn't we look alike? We're related."
Jackson said this year helped her realize she's a strong woman. "I'm a lot stronger than I thought I was," she confessed. The 43-year-old said her mother is also strong because it's essential in the world of show business.
While Jackson admitted, "I'm not that kind of girl who stays in touch with exes," she revealed that she's stayed close with ex-boyfriend Jermaine Dupri. After seven years together, the couple officially parted ways in September, but Jackson confirmed, "He's one of my best friends. I love, love, love him to death."
Janet Jackson blames Dr. Conrad Murray for her brother's June death from lethal levels of the powerful sedative propofol.
"He was the one that was administering," she tells Robin Roberts on ABC News' "In the Spotlight" in an interview to air Wednesday. "I think he is responsible."
Murray is currently under investigation in Michael's June death, which was ruled a homicide.
Janet -- who will open the American Music Awards later this month -- admits it's "been a tough year.
"You have your days where it's just really -- it's hard to believe," she says. "And a day doesn't go by that I don't think about him."
Janet says the day Michael died started like just "another day... another morning."
"I was at my house in New York ... And I get a call ... [my assistant] said, 'Your brother's been taken to the hospital. It's on CNN right now,'" she says. "I called everyone. There's a line busy or -- someone wasn't picking up. I spoke to mother. I spoke to [brother] Tito. I spoke to my nephew Austin. I spoke to my sister La Toya."
Janet goes on, "I told them to call me when they got to the hospital," she goes on. "And I remember thinking nobody's calling me back, so I tried calling again, and that's how I found out that he was no longer ... I couldn't believe it."
When she heard he died, she was in shock.
"It just didn't ring true to me," she says. "It felt like a dream."
It's "still so difficult for me to believe," she admits. "It's, you know, you have to accept what is. But it's hard. You have to move on with your life. You have to accept what is and I understand that."
She hadn't hung out with her brother since two days before her 43rd birthday in May.
"We had a lot of fun, laughing... I was being silly, acting silly," she says. "And he was sitting in front of me and just cracking up, laughing at me. I was being loud. And he thought it was so funny. I was just being stupid, acting silly."
Attending Michael's July memorial at Los Angeles' Staples Center -- where he had rehearsed for his comeback tour, This Is It -- helped her cope with the loss, she says.
"My brother's favorite song is 'Smile.' And I thought Jermaine sang it beautifully, beautifully," she says. "And that's his favorite song as well. ...There being some sort of a closure, I suppose."
She opened the MTV Video Music Awards in September, and Janet Jackson will also open the American Music Awards this month.
Dick Clark Productions has announced the superstar will perform a "special medley" at the Nov. 22 awards show.
"We're thrilled about having Janet Jackson open this year's show," said American Music Awards producer Larry Klein. "She is an incredibly dynamic performer and I think the audience will be excited to see what she has in store."
This is Jackson's fourth time performing on the AMAs. She will release her new album "Number Ones" on Nov. 17.
Jackson, 43, joins a line-up of performers including Whitney Houston, Rihanna, Green Day, Shakira, Lil Wayne, Mary J. Blige, Keith Urban, Lady Gaga, Eminem, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Lopez, Black Eyed Peas, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Daughtry and Adam Lambert.
2009 AMA Nominees
Favorite Male Pop/Rock Artist
Eminem (pictured), Michael Jackson and T.I.
Favorite Female Pop/Rock Artist
Beyonce (pictured), Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift
Favorite Pop/Rock Band, Duo or Group
Black Eyed Peas (pictured), Kings of Leon and Nickelback
Favorite Pop/Rock Album
Lady Gaga (pictured) / Fame, Michael Jackson / Number Ones and Taylor Swift / Fearless
Favorite Male Country Artist
Jason Aldean (pictured), Darius Rucker and Keith Urban
Favorite Female Country Artist
Reba McEntire, Taylor Swift (pictured) and Carrie Underwood
Favorite Male Rap/Hip-Hip Artist
Eminem, Jay-Z (pictured) and T. I.
Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album
Eminem / Relapse, Jay-Z / Blueprint 3 and T.I. (pictured)/ Paper Trail
Favorite Male Soul/R&B Artist
Jamie Foxx (pictured), Michael Jackson and Maxwell
Favorite Female Soul/R&B Artist
Beyonce, Keyshia Cole and Keri Hilson (pictured)
Favorite Soul/R&B Band, Duo or Group
Black Eyed Peas, Day26 (pictured) and Mary Mary
Favorite Soul/R&B Album
Beyonce / I Am... Sasha Fierce, Black Eyed Peas / The E.N.D. and Michael Jackson (pictured) / Number Ones
Hannah Montana: The Movie, Hannah Montana 3 and Twilight Soundtrack
Favorite Alternative Rock Artist
Green Day (pictured), Kings of Leon and Shinedown
Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist
Daughtry, Jason Mraz (pictured) and Taylor Swift
Favorite Latin Artist
Aventura (pictured), Luis Fonsi and Wisin Y Yandel
Favorite Contemporary Inspirational Artist
Jeremy Camp (pictured), Brandon Heath and Mary Mary
Artist of the Year
Kings of Leon (alternative)(pictured), Taylor Swift (country), Lady Gaga (pop/rock), Eminem (rap/hip hop) and Michael Jackson (soul/R&B)
Janet Jackson opened up to Harper's Bazaar for her first interview since the death of her older brother, Michael.
The performer tells the magazine she recently spent time at the beach to clear her mind. "It was the first time I had to myself since Michael passed, the first time I could get away since all of that," Jackson says.
Janet explained, "It's really hard to believe he's passed." Michael Jackson died June 25 after suffering cardiac arrest. His death has been ruled a homicide.
Janet says the last time she spent time with her brother was on May 14 at a family gathering. "We had so much fun that day," she says. "We kept calling each other after and saying how great it was."
This week, MTV announced Janet will open Sunday's Video Music Awards with a tribute to her late brother.
The October issue of Harper's Bazaar is on stands now.