She was born into a musical family but instead of riding on her brothers’ coat tales she has forged a life and career of her own. The youngest of nine children she was born Janet Damita Jo Jackson. By the time Janet was born her brothers had already carved a name for themselves in the music world. When she was seven years old Janet appeared on stage with her brothers – The Jackson 5. Cute little Janet upstaged brother Michael and the rest of the Jackson clan.
But Janet did not immediately begin making records instead she turned her hand to acting and appeared on the television sit-coms “Good Times”, “Diff’rent Strokes”, and “A New Kind of Family” over the next five years.
At her father’s urging Janet turned to the family business of music and made her first album. The album was only moderately successful as was her second album. Janet turned once again to acting where she appeared on the musical drama “Fame”. Her performances on the show and new producers gave Janet the bread she needed an in 1986 when Janet released”Control” she was a big hit, The album spawned several hit singles and went on to sell five million copies in the US.
Over the next few years Janet could do no wrong when it came to making music. Her fourth album “Rhythm Nation 1814” spawned a number of hit singles selling six million copies. Her next album “Janet” went on to sell even more. While her next five albums were all certified platinum none sold as well as the three previous albums. With her success Janet Jackson became the first female artist in rock to have five number one albums in a row.
Over the years Janet Jackson has continued to act appearing in “Poetic Justice” and “The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps”. Janet is the only member of the Jackson family to be nominated for an Academy Award. She has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Among her awards are five Grammys and no less than nine Billboard Awards.
In 1995 Janet teamed up with big brother Michael for the duet “Scream”. The video that accompanied the singe was an outer space affair costing millions making it the most expensive video ever made to date.
While Janet has avoided the major controversy that has surrounded other members of the Jackson family, she has had her share of bad press and brought about a crack down on television censorship in th process. In 2004as a part of the halftime festivities during Super Bowl XXXVIII Janet Jackson was performing a duet with Justin Timberlake when Jackson’s costume was torn exposing a bare breast. The incident resulted in a turmoil of apologies, severe fines to television stations by the Federal Communication Commission, and a crackdown of censorship. CBS, the NFL, and MTV were caught in a situation not of their making but were left cleaning up the mess. The alleged “wardrobe malfunction” is still a topic rife with controversy as to the validity of the “accident” that cost CBS millions in fines.
Janet Jackson may be the youngest of the clan, but she has proud that she can be a success on her won terms and not the family coat tails.