CD single cover art.

"Let's Wait Awhile" is the fifth single from Janet Jackson's 1986 album, Control. Written and produced by Jackson, and the Flyte Tyme duo, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, it was released on January 6, 1987 and is known for being the first song Jackson ever produced.


Written by Jackson, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, and Melanie Andrews, and produced by Jackson, Jam and Lewis, the song talks about waiting until the right moment to have sex. It was the first ever Janet Jackson-produced song. The song can also be interpreted as an anthem to sexual abstinence as it was a hit during the height of the AIDS pandemic.

The opening bars are very similar to the opening bars of the song "Daisy Jane" recorded by 1970s soft rock group America.

The song was a precursor to the more sexually liberated Jackson who was to emerge on the Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 track "Someday Is Tonight", which can be looked at as Jackson's readiness to go further in their relationship. On her album janet., all the songs revolve around the theme of sexual intimacy. On Jackson's album 20 Y.O., the track "With U" is the follow-up to "Let's Wait Awhile". "With U" takes place after the act of intimacy the two have put off, which results, Jackson explains, in "romantic confusion".

Chart performanceEdit

The single peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100—behind Club Nouveau's "Lean on Me." It became Jackson's fifth consecutive top five hit on the chart; it also reached number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for one week, her fourth single to top the chart. "Let's Wait Awhile" was the 48th biggest Hot 100 single of 1987 and the 42nd biggest Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs single of 1987. The single also peaked at number two on the Hot Adult Contemporary charts.

In the United Kingdom the song was released in March 1987 and peaked at number three on the UK Singles Chart a month later, spending ten weeks on the chart.

In Brazil, the song became a successful international theme of the soundtrack of the telenovela "Brega Chique" (Tacky and Chic) from Globo TV in 1987.


Screen cap from the video.

Music videoEdit

The music video, directed by Dominic Sena, is set in New York City. When Jackson and her boyfriend (played by actor and martial artist Taimak Guarriello) go out for a romantic night on the town, her boyfriend wants to end the evening by taking their relationship a step further, but Jackson wants to wait until they are both ready.

Live performancesEdit


Jackson performing "Let's Wait Awhile" live on the Rhythm Nation 1814 Tour.

Jackson has performed the song on the Rhythm Nation 1814 Tour, janet. Tour, The Velvet Rope Tour, All for You Tour, Rock Witchu Tour, and Number Ones: Up Close and Personal Tour.

Track listingsEdit

U.S. 7" single
A. "Let's Wait Awhile" (remix) – 4:30
B. "Pretty Boy" – 6:32
UK and European 7" single
A. "Let's Wait Awhile" (remix) – 4:30
B. "Nasty" (Cool Summer Mix Part 1 edit) – 4:10
UK 12" single
A1. "Let's Wait Awhile" (remix) – 4:30
A2. "Nasty" (Cool Summer Mix Part 1) – 7:57
B1. "Nasty" (Cool Summer Mix Part 2) – 10:09
UK 7" single – limited edition picture disc
A. "Let's Wait Awhile" (remix) – 4:30
B. "Nasty" (Cool Summer Mix Part 1 edit) – 4:10
C. "Nasty" (edit of remix) – 3:40
D. "Control" (edit) – 3:26

Official versions/remixesEdit

  • Album version – 4:37
  • Remix – 4:37
  • Remix edit – 3:57


Chart (1987) Peak
Australian Kent Music Report 21
Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders) 15
Canadian Singles Chart 11
Dutch Top 40 16
German Singles Chart 34
Irish Singles Chart 4
New Zealand Singles Chart 26
Swiss Singles Chart 27
UK Singles Chart 3
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 2
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 1
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary 2

End-of-year chartsEdit

End-of-year chart (1987) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 48
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