Janet Jackson is an American singer, songwriter, dancer and actress. Known for a series of sonically innovative, socially conscious and sexually provocative records, as well as elaborate stage shows, television and film roles, she has been a prominent figure in popular culture for over 30 years. The youngest child of the Jackson family, she began her career with the variety television series The Jacksons in 1976 and went on to appear in other television shows throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, including Good Times and Fame.
Let’s find out interesting facts about her!
1. Janet Damita Jo Jackson was born May 16, 1966 in Gary, Indiana.
2. She is the youngest of ten children.
3. She was born to Katherine Esther and Joseph Walter Jackson.
4. The Jacksons were lower-middle class and devout Jehovah’s Witnesses, although Jackson would later refrain from organized religion.
5. At a young age, her brothers began performing as The Jackson 5 in the Chicago-Gary area.
6. In March 1969, the group signed a record deal with Motown, and soon had their first number-one hit.
7. The family then moved to the Encino neighborhood of Los Angeles.
8. Jackson had initially desired to become a horse racing jockey or entertainment lawyer, with plans to support herself through acting.
9. Despite this, she was anticipated to pursue a career in entertainment, and considered the idea after recording herself in the studio.
10. At age seven, Jackson performed at the Las Vegas Strip at the MGM Casino.
11. A biography revealed her father, Joseph Jackson, was emotionally withdrawn, and told her to address him solely by his first name as a child.
12. She began acting in the variety show The Jacksons in 1976.
13. In 1977, she was selected to have a starring role as Penny Gordon Woods in the sitcom Good Times.
14. She later starred in A New Kind of Family and later got a recurring role on Diff’rent Strokes, portraying Charlene Duprey from Seasons 3 to 6.
15. Jackson also played the role of Cleo Hewitt during the fourth season of Fame, but expressed indifference towards the series.
16. When Jackson was sixteen, her father and manager Joseph Jackson, arranged a contract for her with A&M Records.
17. Her debut album, Janet Jackson, was released in 1982. It was produced by Angela Winbush, René Moore, Bobby Watson of Rufus and Leon F. Sylvers III, and overseen by her father Joseph.
18. It peaked at number sixty-three on the Billboard 200, and number six on the publication’s R&B albums chart, receiving little promotion.
19. Jackson’s second album, Dream Street, was released two years later.
20. Dream Street reached one-hundred forty-seven on the Billboard 200, and number nineteen on the R&B albums chart.
21. The lead single “Don’t Stand Another Chance” peaked at number nine on Billboard’s R&B singles chart.
22. Both albums consisted primarily of bubblegum pop music.
23. Jackson eloped with singer James DeBarge in 1984, divorcing shortly afterwards, with the marriage annulled the following year.
24. Her third studio album, Control (1986), hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and No. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
25. Five singles on Control peaked in the top five of the Hot 100 chart.
26. Control is listed by the National Association of Recording Merchandisers and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 200 Definitive Albums of All Time.
27. She holds the record for most American Music Awards nominations from one album (with twelve) for Control.
28. She won six Billboard Music Awards (including Top Pop Singles Artist) in 1986.
29. Control was nominated for four Grammy Awards (including Album of the Year) in 1987.
30. She won a Soul Train Music Award for Album of the Year and Best Music Video for “What Have You Done for Me Lately” in 1987.
31. Her single “Nasty” won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Choreography (Paula Abdul) in 1987.
32. Her fourth studio album, Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989), hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and No. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
33. Rhythm Nation was the biggest-selling album of 1990.
34. Rhythm Nation is the only album in the history of the Hot 100 chart to have seven singles peak within the top five.
35. Rhythm Nation is the only album to produce No. 1 hits on the Hot 100 chart in three separate calendar years (1989–1991).
36. Rhythm Nation received nine Grammy Award nominations and she became the first female artist to be nominated for Producer of the Year in 1990.
37. She won eight Billboard Music Awards in 1990, including Top Hot 100 Singles Artist of the Year, Top Selling Album of the Year, Top Selling R&B Album of the Year, Top Selling R&B Albums Artist of the Year, Top Selling R&B Artist of the Year and Top Dance Club Play Artist of the Year.
38. She won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Choreography (“Rhythm Nation”) and was presented with the MTV Video Vanguard Award in 1990.
39. She received an American Music Award for Favorite Dance Single for “Miss You Much” in 1990.
40. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1990.
41. She received an American Music Award for Favorite Dance Artist in 1991.
42. “Love Will Never Do Without You” won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video in 1991.
43. With Jackson’s song “When I Think of You”, she and her brother, Michael became the first siblings in the rock era to have No.1 songs as soloists.
44. She was paid $3 million for Nutty Professor II: The Klumps.
45. As actress she starred for the first time in the drama Poetic Justice directed by John Singleton.
46. Jackson produced a song with brother Michael called “Scream.” The music video cost $7 million to produce, making it the most expensive video ever made.
47. It was revealed that she has been secretly married to her manager and longtime boyfriend, Rene Elizondo, for eight years.
48. Jackson announced their separation in 1999.
49. Her favorite singers are Ella Fitzgerald and Marvin Gaye.
50. Jackson is the No. 2 most successful artist on the Billboard Dance/Club Play Chart. She is right after Madonna.
51. Janet Jackson rejected a role in The Matrix to go on a concert tour.
52. Rhythm Nation 1814 World Tour was the first headlining worldwide tour by American recording artist Janet Jackson.
53. The tour remains the most successful debut tour by any recording artist.
54. Nickname “Dunk” was given to her by her brother Michael. The nickname was inspred by her sturdy body, which her brother Michael claimed remsembled a donkey.
55. As child Janet wanted to work at a McDonald’s drive-thru window.
56. She is listed in Guinness World Records for Top-Selling Dance Album of the Decade, Female for Janet in 1999.
57. She is listed in Guinness World Records for Most Successful Siblings in History (with her brother Michael Jackson) in 1999.
58. Her seventh studio album, All For You (2001), became her fifth consecutive album to top the Billboard 200 chart.
59. She was declared MTV’s inaugural icon in 2001, and received a televised tribute, MTV Icon: Janet Jackson.
60. She was presented with the Artistic Achievement Award at the Billboard Music Awards in 2001.
61. She was presented with the American Music Award’s Award of Merit in 2001.
62. “All For You” won a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording in 2002.
63. Her ninth studio album, 20 Y.O. (2006), became her eighth consecutive platinum album.
64. She is listed in Guinness World Records as “Most Searched Person in Internet History” and “Most Searched News Item in Internet History” is 2007.
65. Her tenth studio album, Discipline (2008), hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.
66. Her eleventh studio album, Unbreakable (2015), hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.
67. She was honored with the inaugural BET Awards Ultimate Icon: Music Dance Visual Award in 2015
68. “No Sleeep” became her 40th entry on the Hot 100 chart.
69. In February 2013, Jackson announced she was married to her third husband, Qatari businessman Wissam Al Mana, during a private ceremony the previous year.
70. On April 6, 2016, Jackson announced that she was “planning her family” with husband Wissam Al Mana, resulting in her postponing her tour.
71. In October that same year, Jackson confirmed she was expecting her first child with Al Mana. Their son Eissa was born on January 3, 2017.