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The younger sister of Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson is one of the best-selling artists in contemporary history. Her albums include Control and Rhythym Nation.
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A short biography of Janet Jackson, who, as a member of the Jackson Dynasty, started her career as a child actress. But she soon made a career for herself in music, and her videos turned her into a music icon.
Smokey Robinson recalls how Michael Jackson and his brothers were discovered by Motown.
Michael Jackson and his brothers lived their childhoods on the road and toured in a volkswagon bus.
From the very beginning, no young star was as talented or passionate as Michael Jackson.
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84 on the pop charts and had three hit singles, including "Young Love" and "Give Your Love to Me." The self-titled album sold about 250,000 copies, as did her follow-up, Dream Street, which featured contributions from her brothers Michael, Tito, Jackie and Marlon.
Jackson scored her first major success in 1986 with Control, released on the A&M label. Control, produced with the writing-producing team of Jimmy Jam (James Harris III) and Terry Lewis,
sold eight million copies worldwide and featured two No. 1 singles, "What Have You Done For Me Lately" and the title track. Nominated for three Grammy Awards and nine American Music Awards, it won two of the latter. Jackson"s new, sexier style, stage presence, and dancing ability were all showcased in her videos, and combined to make her a star.
Her next album, Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814, was a more socially conscious album, also produced by Jam and Lewis, who wrote nearly half the songs. The album spawned a number of hit singles, including "Black Cat" (written by Jackson herself), "Miss You Much," and "Escapade," and again sold around eight million copies. Rhythm Nation, which won three American Music Awards, made Jackson the first artist to have seven Top 5 hits from a single album. Jackson embarked on her first tour, in support of the album, in the spring of 1990.
Janet Jackson's contract with Virgin Records, signed in March 1991, was at the time the largest recording contract in history, at $32 million. (Michael Jackson reportedly held off signing his so-called "billion-dollar" contract until after Janet signed so as not to steal her publicity.)
In the summer of 1993, Jackson unveiled her fifth album, titled Janet as well as her first starring film role, in the drama Poetic Justice, directed by John Singleton, who had received two Oscar nominations for writing and directing his debut feature, Boyz N the Hood. The film received disappointing reviews, but Jackson received an Oscar nomination for "Again," which she performed on the soundtrack. Janet (another Jam and Lewis collaboration), sold more than six million copies, and featured "Any Time, Any Place," which became Jackson's 14th gold single, tying her with Aretha Franklin as the female solo singers with the most gold singles. In addition, "That's the Way Love Goes" earned a Grammy nomination for best rhythm and blues song. Jackson also produced a song with brother Michael entitled "Scream" in 1995. The music video cost $7 million to produce, making it the most expensive video ever made.
Jackson's sixth album, The Velvet Rope (1997), brought her sexually suggestive style to a whole new level, generating some impressive buzz from critics but did not reach the sales records of her three previous blockbusters. On a more personal level, Jackson made headlines in when it was revealed that she had been secretly married to her manager and longtime boyfriend, Rene Elizondo, for eight years. Jackson announced their separation in 1999, but the fact of their marriage (which Jackson's sisters LaToya and Rebbie had earlier alleged to the press) became public when Elizondo filed for divorce in May of 2000.
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Madonna unapologetically celebrated and monetized her sexuality when she began her career in the 1980s. Her bold behavior paved the way for other female performers—including Cyndi Lauper, Britney Spears, and Janet Jackson—giving them the freedom to explore previously taboo roles and take control of their image and career.
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It's hard to face weight gain—but it's even harder to face it when the whole world is commenting on your expanding waistline. Here are a group of stars who got in shape despite the scrutiny of the press. Their efforts serve as an inspiration to the millions out there trying to live a healthier lifestyle.
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Explore our collection of some of the most famous performers of the highly anticipated Super Bowl from the 1970s through today, including Ella Fitzgerald, Chubby Checker, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, the Rolling Stones, the Black Eyed Peas, No Doubt, Madonna, Cee Lo Green, Nicki Minaj, Usher and Beyoncé.
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Learn more about the lives of African-Americans who have made extraordinary achievements in their fields, with our collection of Black History Groups.
Explore our curated collections of African-American figures, including: