Janet Jackson, the youngest member of the Jackson family had been a part of the usual constellation of stars among the media for quite a while. This started with her rise to prominence in the later 70’s. Janet was a huge hit, not unlike her siblings involved in the “Jackson 5” such as Michael Jackson himself. Aside from her career in television, Janet also became a massively popular musician and pop icon. Janet Jackson was everywhere and everyone knew about her. While time went on Janet remained at large, though she later fell off the radar around 2010.
Janet was born as a member of a rather large family, being one of ten siblings. Janet’s father Joseph Jackson, kept himself away from the family in an effort to remain detached, going as far as asking his children to refrain from calling him their father. The whole Jackson family were Jehovah’s Witnesses at the time as well. Janet remained in the background, while her brothers formed The Jackson 5 and started to top the charts.
While it was not quite Janet’s ideal career choice at the time, she had gone down the path of being an entertainer just like her siblings. Janet had her kick off when she was only seven years old, and performed at the Las Vegas, MGM Casino.
Her break came in 1976 when Janet started acting in “The Jacksons”. Airing every Wednesday for half an hour, the TV show included all of the Jackson siblings, and ran from the summer of 1976 up until spring 1977.
Joseph Jackson later worked out a deal for Janet when she was 16. The deal was a contract with A&M Records which allowed her to produce her very first album simply titled “Janet Jackson”, which she released on September 21, 1982. The album primarily comprised of R&B and pop genres. The album was also worked on by a multitude of other musicians and songwriters who are credited for their efforts.
Janet’s second album titled “Dream Street” showed her affection for James De Barge, who was a soul singer at the time. They later became engaged, but their relationship came to an end relatively quickly, and the following year they got a divorce.
Due to the poor turnout of Janet’s two albums she decided to break away from the funding of her family, specifically her father. In 1986, after signing on with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the trio only took six week to release Janet’s third album under the name “Control”.
Released on February 4th 1986, the album took influences from a variety of different music cultures, resulting in new sounds and vibes that drew people in. Five songs from Control topped the Billboard 100 chart, and the album itself went platinum five times selling 10 million copies.
Later on in her career, while Janet was on tour, claims that Michael Jackson had been involved in acts of child sex abuse came out, and Janet took to her brother’s side and defended him against the accusations. This was cited as a reason for a decline in sales for Janet’s music.
Later, Janet did a collaboration with her brother to create Michael’s single “Scream” which was on his album titled “HIStory”. The album was a direct response to the accusations and general hatred that the two had received from the masses due to Michael’s scandal. Scream set its own record due to costing 7 million dollars to create, making it the most expensive music video in existence.
In 2004, Janet was asked to perform many of her greatest hits during the 38th super bowl. Justin Timberlake also appeared as a complete surprise to viewers. During their performance of “Rock Your Body”, Timberlake made a choreographed action during the song which involved tearing open the front of Janet’s costume. While the intention was to only show Janet’s bra, an accident caused her breast to be exposed.
The stigma followed Janet for quite some time as many people believed she intended on the ‘accident’ taking place. While Janet released an album shortly after, most of her music was essentially banned from radio due to her incident. The album was titled “Damita Jo” and the ban affected her two later albums she released as well. Janet continued to produce albums for some time after, with the ban being removed eventually.
She continued to do this until 2009, when Michael Jackson died of a drug overdose in June. She openly expressed her gratitude to the public for their support and mourned his loss.
The last album Janet released was titled “Unbreakable” and peaked at number 1 in the US charts, but only number 11 in the Australian charts. The recorded sales were only 253,000 copies in the US, and not many copies sold in other countries, which is a massive difference from her career peak of 7.9 million US copies, and 14 million total worldwide sales in 1993 for the album “Janet”.