Who is Janet ?
Janet Jackson was a singer, songwriter, dancer and an actress. Janet Jackson was born on May 16, 1966 in Gary, Indiana. Janet was raised by her mother, Katherine Jackson and her father, Joe Jackson. She had nine siblings and she was the youngest of the ten. Growing up, her brothers started a band called the Jackson 5 which kept her from living with them majority of the time. She lived with her sisters and mother while her brothers were in Los Angeles. In 1969, she eventually went on to live with her brothers and father in Los Angeles.
Joe Jackson was not only Janet’s father but her manger at one point. Her father wanted her and the rest of the children to grow up so fast, he did not even let them call him ‘daddy’. Janet says in an interview that her father did not show much affection to his children and she did not agree with the way he did many things. Janet mentions in a 2019 interview how she wishes she had a stronger relationship with her father. Although she may not have had a close relationship to her late father, Janet was very close to her mother and her siblings. Her brothers were always there for her and stood up for her. One specific event was a incident withe a wardorbe malfunction in the 2004 superbowl where she felt she was thrown under the buss by Justin Timberlake and her brothers made sure Timberlake understood that what he did was wrong. Being apart of a famous family was not easy for her. Due to the stardom, she was unable to have a regular childhood (Swift).Janet states, “I had my first birthday party when I was 23 years old. I had never celebrated my birthday before then”(Swift).Although she was unable to have a regular childhood and do activities where it would be easy for her to make friends, it was good that she was always close to her siblings and considered them her bestfriends even to this day no matter if they see each other as often.
The Start of Fame
She first appeared onstage singing and doing impressions in 1974 during the Jackson’s family Las Vegas Act. Janet became introduced to this world through her brothers as she would tour with them. In 1976, Janet appeared on a summer replacement television show, The Jacksons. Due to this show, she gained attention and was able to obtain the role of Penny in the TV comedy series Good Times from 1977-1979. Other television works that Janet was apart of were the short-lived A New Kind of Family in 1979, the sitcom Different Strokes in 1984-1985, and the teen drama Fame in 1984-1985. After all these acting jobs, Janet married a musician from Motown records, James DeBarge which only lasted for months. Even though she landed many acting roles and was doing well, her father thought it was better for her to start singing and become apart of the music industry.
She signed with A&M records then in 1982 she released her debut album, Janet Jackson which did poorly. The album reached No. 84 on the pop charts and had three hit singles, including “Young Love” and “Give Your Love to Me.” Two years later she recorded her second album”Dream Street” which turned out to be another disaster.
A year later in 1986, she scored her first major success when she signed on Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis to record a third album called “Control”. It was a hit, selling 5 million copies in the U.S. alone and eight million copies worldwide, spawning six hits, and the #1 single “When I Think of You”. It was nominated for three Grammy Awards and nine American Music Awards, she won two of those.
After her failures and one success, Janet wanted to keep her success rate up. With this drive, she dropped her next album “Rhythm Nation 1814”. The album spawned a number of hit singles, including the chart-toppers “Miss You Much,” “Escapade,” “Black Cat” and “Love Will Never Do (Without You),” and again sold around eight million copies. With these ratings, the album won three American Music Awards. She became one of the first artist to have seven top 5 hits on a single album.. After these successes, Jackson went on tour in the spring of 1990.
In 1991, Janet got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Also that year, Janet Jackson signed with Virgin Records in March. She got 32 million dollars for signing and this was the largest contract in history at the time. After signing, she released her fifth album which was titled “Janet” in 1993. Her fifth album sold over 10 millions copies in the U.S alone. This album also included her biggest hit single “That’s The Way Love Goes” which was her 14th gold single. She was one of the female solo singer with the most gold singles tying with Aretha Franklin. The hit single also earned her a Grammy award for Best Rhythm and Blues song.
Along with dropping her fifth album, she also got her first lead big screen role in the movie Poetic Injustice. Although the film received some bad reviews, Janet was able to receive a Oscar nomination from it for her number one single “Again”.
“Janet Jackson.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 9 Sept. 2022, https://www.biography.com/musician/janet-jackson.
“Janet Jackson.” IMDb, IMDb.com, https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001390/bio.