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Janet Jackson (born May 16, 1966) is one of the world’s most successful American R&B/pop singer-songwriters. Born the youngest of nine Jackson siblings, she proved the only one to break out of Michael Jackson’s shadow releasing a string of successful albums and singles, hailing from Gary, Indiana, U.S.
By the time Janet Jackson was born in 1966, her sibling band the Jackson 5 had already begun performing together. The young singer would later make her debut with the band at the age of seven, later joining the cast of the TV sitcom “Good Times” at the age of 10. Further TV appearances followed including “Different Strokes” and “A New Kind of Family”, before under pressure from her father released her self-titled debut album in 1982. A second studio album “Dream Street” followed in 1984 matching the disappointment of its predecessor, after which she hired a new manger John McCain and underwent dancing lessons.
Having collaborated with producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis in the studio, Jackson released her third studio album, “Control”, in 1982. Catapulting the singer to Pop Icon status, and promoting Jackson as a strong minded, responsible young woman, the record was a smash hit, topping the Billboard 200 upon release. Spawning the Billboard Hot 100 Top 5 singles “What Have You Done for Me Lately”, “Nasty”, “When I Think of You”, “Control”, and “Let’s Wait Awhile”, the album went on to sell over 14 million copies worldwide.
The success of the album meant it became a tough act to follow, and, reluctant to overtly sell her sexuality opted for a more socially conscious, romantic album with 1989’s “Rhythm Nation 1814”. Spawning four No. 1 singles “Miss You Much”, “Escapade”, “Black Cat”, and “Love Will Never Do (Without You)”, the record featured high-quality production, generous samples and was supported by the singer’s first major tour.
Following the release Jackson signed with Virgin Records, in a deal reportedly worth $32 million, and duetted with Luther Vandross on the single “The Best Things in Life Are Free”. Far removed from her previous public image, Jackson’s 1993 album “janet.” showcased a sexy and alluring singer, epitomised by her ‘revealing’ Rolling Stone Magazine cover. Featuring Jam and Lewis at the production reigns once again, the album was led by Jackson’s biggest single to date “That’s the Way Love Goes”, which was held aloft the Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks. In 1995 the singer collaborated with her brother Michael on the single “Scream”, which later resulted in the most expensive music video of all time, but only rose to No. 5 in the pop charts.
After singing another deal with Virgin worth $80 million, the singer released the full-length “The Velvet Rope” in 1997. Marked by Jackson’s newfound sexuality as well as the social consciousness promoted on “Rhythm Nation”, the record earned mixed reviews however spawned the No. 1 single “Together Again”. In support of the record Jackson embarked on another worldwide tour and remained in the charts with the duet “What’s It Gonna Be?!” with Busta Rhymes and “Doesn’t Really Matter”. The full-length “All for You” arrived in 2001 once again finding itself at the top of the Billboard 200 and was led by the No. 1 titled track.
Following a “wardrobe malfunction” at the Super Bowl XXXVIII, Jackson became America’s focal talking point, and raised a national debate on public indecency. At the same time the singer issued her eighth studio album “Damita Ja” in 2004 featuring production from Jam and Lewis, Kanye West, Dallas Austin, and Just Blaze. Due to the Super Bowl incident a host of media outlets refused to play the album’s singles which resulted in significantly lower album sales compared to predecessors. In 2006 Jackson released the full-length “20 Y.O.” led by the singles “Call on Me” and “So Excited”, which was followed by the singer’s 10th studio album “Discipline” in 2008.