Janet Jackson: A look back at the pop star’s career

Janet Jackson’s stardom may seem to fluctuate at times, but her impact on the music world is undeniable.

The 55-year-old pop star is the subject of Lifetime’s self-titled four-part docuseries airing in late January, chronicling his career from his early days until very recently.

As of Friday, the first part was seen by 2.8 million people on live television, and 1.2 million more in the following days, either digitally or on demand, the Nielsen company said. The second part had a lookalike audience of 4.3 million, the third part had 3.7 million, and the last part had 3.8 million.

Those numbers are expected to increase with delayed viewing over the next few weeks.


Born into a family of artists, Jackson saw her career kick off at an early age, when she was added to the cast of “The Jacksons,” a variety show featuring her family, including her older brother Michael Jackson.

Although “The Jacksons” only lasted one season, the star’s acting career would continue when she was cast in “Good time“, which saw her play Penny Woods from 1977 to 1979. She also had recurring roles in “Different shots” and “notoriety“in the following years.

Jackson dove into music in the early 1980s, releasing her self-titled debut album in 1982. “Janet Jackson” charted well on Billboard’s R&B album chart at the time. His second album, “Dream Street”, was released in 1984 and was similarly charted.

The stars of ‘The Jacksons’ (clockwise from bottom row, left): Janet, Randy, Jackie, Michael, Tito, Marlon, LaToya and Rebbie Jackson. (CBS/Getty Images/Getty Images)

After the release of “Dream Street”, Jackson separated from her family and set out to make an album unsupervised by her father. The result was 1986’s smash hit “Control,” remembered these days for songs like “Nasty,” “Let’s Wait Awhile,” and the title track.

She would receive her first three Grammy nominations for the album, as well as for the single “What Have You Done For Me Lately”. Critically acclaimed for its innovative, genre-blending and thought-provoking lyrics, “Control” cemented Jackson as a force to be reckoned with in the music industry.


Jackson continued his socially conscious music trend with his next album “Rhythm Nation 1814,” which promoted messages of unity. The record was another smash hit and sold over 12 million copies worldwide, featuring songs like “Black Cat”, “Escapade” and more.

Jackson landed his first Grammy in 1990 for Best Music Video – Long Form for “Rhythm Nation 1814.” That same year, she received three more nominations.

Then, in 1993, the album “Janet.” was released, with famous songs “If”, “That’s The Way Love Goes” and “Any Time, Any Place”. Like its predecessors, the record sold and charted very well, continuing the star’s near-unprecedented success in the industry.

By the late 1980s, Jackson was a bona fide superstar thanks to the massive success of his “Control” and “Rhythm Nation 1814” albums. (Getty Images/Getty Images)

The album was also notable as Jackson brought his sexuality to the fore and became known as a sex symbol around the world.

That same year, Jackson returned to acting with a starring role in “Poetic Justice” opposite Tupac Shakur, Regina King and Maya Angelo. Jackson co-wrote the film’s theme song, “Again,” and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Music, Original Song.

In 1997, Jackson reinvented herself for her album “The Velvet Rope”, which contained more socially progressive messages. She notably continued to mix genres on the disc, with “Got ‘Til It’s Gone” with the voice of rapper Q-Tip and a sample of “Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell.


The album’s song “Together Again” gave Jackson her eighth No. 1 hit, putting her on par with Diana Ross, the Rolling Stones and Elton John.

In 2000 Jackson returned to acting again, starring in “Nutty Professor II: The Klumps” alongside Eddie Murphy before releasing the album “All For You” the following year.

“All For You” was considered a return to form for Jackson and produced such well-known hits as “Doesn’t Really Matter”, “Someone to Call My Lover” and the title track. She again drew on material from her predecessors, featuring the vocals of Carly Simon alongside Missy Elliott on “Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)”.

Janet Jackson performs at the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show with Justin Timberlake in 2004. At the end of the performance, she suffered a wardrobe malfunction and her chest was exposed on television. (Getty Images/Getty Images)

In 2004, Jackson performed at halftime at Super Bowl XXXVIII alongside Justin Timberlake. The performance famously ended with Jackson’s chest on display on live television in an apparent wardrobe malfunction.

The moment would cause controversy for years with blame for the incident – and its negative impact on Jackson’s image and career – rocked until Timberlake has publicly apologized.

After the incident, Jackson was banned from appearing at the 2004 Grammys, and production on a film set featuring Jackson was halted. Later that year, she released the album “Damita Jo”, named after her middle name, which spawned the hit “All Nite (Don’t Stop)” – her performance was hampered by the fact that Jackson was blacklisted by radio stations following the Super Bowl incident. .


In 2006, she released her ninth studio album, “20 YO”, which includes “So Excited (Feat. Khia)” and “Call On Me”. The following year, she would star alongside Tyler Perry in “Why Did I Get Married?”

In 2008, Jackson released another record, “Discipline”, known for the songs “Feedback” and “Rock With U”.

In 2010, she appeared in a sequel to “Why Did I Get Married?” Later that year, she led the cast of the movie “For Colored Girls,” which included Whoopi Goldberg, Thandie Newton, Kerry Washington, Phylicia Rashad and more.

Janet Jackson is now known as one of the most successful and influential pop stars in history. (Getty Images/Getty Images)

In addition to acting, music and touring, Jackson became an accomplished author in 2011, when she released the book “True You: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself”, which she co-wrote with David Ritz. The book became a New York Times bestseller.


In 2015, Jackson released another studio album, “Unbreakable”, which included “No Sleep”, “BURNITUP!” and “Shit baby”. In 2019, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Jackson’s success has continued to this day, as the docuseries has performed well on Lifetime and she currently has 5.4 million monthly listeners on Spotify.

Through Celebrity Net WorthJackson is worth $180 million.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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