Janet Jackson Biography
Janet Damita Jo Jackson (born May 16, 1966) is an American singer-songwriter, producer, dancer and actress. Janet is the youngest child of the Jackson music family, the sister of Michael Jackson and the sister of the controversial, yet commercially unsuccessful Latoya Jackson. Breaking away from the shadow of her famous brother, Janet Jackson now ranks as the ninth most successful artist in the history of rock and roll according to Billboard in 2004. Jackson initially stepped into the limelight as a young actress, appearing in television shows. Jackson is well-known for her detailed dance choreography and music videos.
Jackson set out to find her own identity, collaborating with producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The trio created Jackson's breakout album, Control (1986) and the socially-focused follow-up, Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989). In the early 1990s, Jackson signed a record-breaking recording deal with Virgin Records for the sexually-charged album janet. (1993), which was a greater success than its two predecessors. Jackson also returned to acting, starring in Poetic Justice (1993). A greatest-hits album, Design of a Decade 1986/1996 was released in 1995, and her second album released under Virgin Records, The Velvet Rope, was released in 1997.
While filming Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000), Jackson continued to work on All for You (2001), which gained success on the Billboard charts.
In 2004, Jackson made headlines for her Super Bowl halftime show performance. During a duet, Justin Timberlake exposed Jackson's right breast. Teen heart-throb Timberlake later apologized. The event became a media controversy and put a damper on the release of her album Damita Jo (2004). The release failed to yield any hit singles. Jackson is currently dating and collaborating with producer Jermaine Dupri, with whom she worked on her latest album 20 Y.O., released in September 2006.
In 2006, it was announced that Jackson was the "Most Searched on the Internet," and "The Most Searched for News Item," in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Janet was born the youngest of the nine Jackson children in Gary, Indiana to parents Joseph and Katherine Jackson. She lived in a two-bedroom house with eight older siblings. Janet's father, Joseph, worked as a crane operator in a steel mill, and her mother, Katherine, worked as a store clerk for Sears, before becoming a devout Jehovah's Witness.
Before Janet's birth, her father decided to try his hand at a musical career, fronting the R&B band The Falcons. The band was ultimately unsuccessful, never getting as far as the top nightclubs in Indiana. According to reports, Janet's father was gregarious and stern, whereas her mother was deeply religious and saintly.
By the time she was a toddler, Janet's older brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael had already begun to perform on stage at nightclubs and theaters as the Jackson 5. In March 1969, the group signed with Motown Records, and by the end of the year the group recorded the first of their four consecutive number-one singles. The Jackson 5's success allowed the entire family to move to Southern California. There, they settled in a gated mansion named Hayvenhurst in Encino, CA in 1971.
Aspiring to be a horse jockey, Janet had no intention of entering show business. However, after the Jackson 5's success began to diminish, Joseph decided to bring the rest of his children into the spotlight. On April 9, 1974, Janet made her public debut performance at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas with nearly all nine members of the Jackson family. Janet quickly became the star of the show, emulating various celebrities of the day such as Cher, Marie Osmond, Toni Tennille, and Mae West.
By 1976, the Jackson family's Vegas act had caught the attention of CBS president Fred Silverman. The network was desperately trying to find a new variety act to replace the recently ended Sonny & Cher Show, since ABC had a competing show featuring Donny and Marie Osmond. Debuting on June 16, 1976, The Jacksons show became the first African-American family variety show on TV. The show lasted only two seasons and was canceled in 1977.
For complete discography and sales information see Janet Jackson discography.