Many times when Michael Jackson's career sputtered or stalled due to controversy or allegations, Janet Jackson seemed to carry the torch musically for the family. Born 1966 on May 16th in Gary, Indiana, Janet Jackson was the final child born to Joseph and Katherine Jackson. Janet was able to watch and learn from her famous brothers how to successfully navigate the industry and what it would take to be a super star. Janet had a front row seat as her brothers, the Jackson Five, churned out hit after hit, including “ABC”, “The Love You Save,” “I Want You Back” and “Dancing Machine”. Janet would herself join her brothers onstage in 1974 but not as a member of the group. She performed impressions and sometimes sang in their Las Vegas act. In 1976 she would make numerous appearances on their CBS television show, The Jacksons.
Because of her proven acting chops, she was asked to join the sitcom, Good Times as a regular from 1977 to 1979. She also appeared on Different strokes, A New Kind of Family and Fame.
Janet Jackson’s Biggest Hits
Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 would be the follow up album to Control. She also worked with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis on the album. It would be incredibly successful, selling roughly 8 million copies as well. Janet would take home three American Music Awards for her efforts. Seven songs from that album would reach top 5 on the charts. She was the first artist to achieve this feat.
In 1991, she would sign a mega deal with Virgin records worth $32 million. Her fifth album would be released two years later and was titled Janet. She also began to delve back into acting, starring in a John Singleton’s movie Poetic Justice. It would also star Tupac Shakur, another famous musician who passed away in the 1990s. The Janet album would sale millions of copies and her single “Any time Any Place” would go gold.
Janet’s album, the Velvet Rope was released in 1997. While it was fairly critically acclaimed, it didn’t sell as many units as her previous records. It was also around this time that it became openly known that she had been secretly married to Renee Elizondo for nearly ten years. The couple would separate in 1999 and then divorce in 2000. Janet would continue to act, starring in Nutty Professor 2 with Eddie Murphy. She also continued recording and released All For You as well as went on tour to support the album. She would ink an $80 million deal with Virgin records around the same time.
Most recently, Janet Jackson was involved in a controversial incident alongside pop star Justin Timberlake while both performed together at the halftime show of the Superbowl in 2004. A wardrobe malfunction occurred and Janet Jackson's breast was exposed. This incident resulted in an incredible amount of backlash and controversy which may only recently be dying down.
Related Jackson Links
Other Jackson Family Members and Relationship to Michael
Find out more about the Jackson Family.
Katherine Jackson Mother.