Janet Jackson is one of pop music’s most successful artists of all time. Billboard magazine reported that Janet Jackson was the second most successful female artist of all time and the ninth most successful solo artist in Rock and Roll history. It was Janet’s seminal, 1986 album “Control” that allowed her step out of the shadow of the Jackson family and into the light, to stake her claim as a serious recording music artist.
Janet Jackson was the youngest of nine kids and came from the show business family ‘The Jackson’s’ Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana, although most of her childhood was spent in a wealthy neighbourhood in California, as the Jackson 5 (a band that consisted of her older brothers) had become hugely successful. From an early age, Janet Jackson never longed to be an entertainer, although being an entertainer was a prerequisite if you were a member of the Jackson family.
By age 16 Janet had recorded her debut album “Janet Jackson”, the album was a commercial flop and so was her next album “Dream Street”. It wasn’t until 1986 that the world sat up and took notice of Janet Jackson. By this time Janet had become disillusioned with her father Joe Jackson's management and decided to take command of her own career, hence the name of the album “Control”.
"Control" marked the beginning of Janet Jackson’s partnership with now legendary production duo Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (who were once managed by Prince). The collaboration on "Control" helped skyrocket the career of Janet and the production duo, the album went on to sell 10 million records worldwide and won Grammys, American Music awards and Billboard music awards.
Janet has since scored 6 multi-platinum albums, selling over 100 million records worldwide and has had 10, Billboard hot 100, number one singles. Janet’s legacy is defined by her ability to constantly push the bar in relation to choreography, music videos and stage shows, for someone that never wanted to go into entertainment Janet Jackson really has become the archetypal all around entertainer. Janet has influenced a whole crop of younger artists such as Destiny’s Child, Ciara and even Britney Spears, some of whom have commented on her influence on them, which all goes to prove that Janet Jackson has set the benchmark for mainstream female performers throughout her career. Janet continues to record and perform and will release her second compilation album "Number 1’s" in November 2009.
Segun Murray Ogunsheye
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