Janet Damita Jo Jackson (born May 16, 1966) is an American recording artist and actress. Born in Gary, Indiana and raised in Encino, Los Angeles, California, she is the youngest child of the Jackson family of musicians. She first performed on stage with her family beginning at the age of seven, and later started her career as an actress with the variety television series The Jacksons in 1976.
Although Jackson was initially apprehensive about starting a music career, she agreed to participate in recording sessions with her family. The first of these, a duet with her brother Randy titled "Love Song for Kids", took place in 1978. When Jackson was sixteen, her father arranged a contract for her with A&M Records.
Jackson's second album, Dream Street, was released two years later. Her father recruited her brothers to help produce the album: Marlon co-wrote two of the album's tracks, while Tito, Jackie and Michael provided background vocals. Dream Street reached number nineteen on the R&B albums chart; its sales were less than that of Jackson's debut album. The album's only hit, "Don't Stand Another Chance", peaked at number nine on Billboard's R&B singles chart.
Control was certified five times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, and has sold over ten million copies worldwide. Billboard credited it as being the fifth best-selling album of 1986 in the United States. It won four American Music Awards, from twelve nominations—a record that has yet to be broken—and was nominated for Album of the Year at the 1987 Grammy Awards.
Richard J. Ripani Ph.D., author of The New Blue Music: Changes in Rhythm & Blues, 1950-1999 (2006), observed that the album was one of the first successful records to influence the rise of new jack swing, incorporating R&B, funk, jazz, soul and various production techniques which emerged in the late-1980s. The success of Control, according to Ripani, bridged the gap between R&B and rap music.
Released in February 1986, the album peaked at number one on the Billboard 200. The Newsweek review of Control noted that the album was "an alternative to the sentimental balladry and opulent arrangements of Patti LaBelle and Whitney Houston." Rob Hoerburger of Rolling Stone asserted, "Control is a better album than Diana Ross has made in five years and puts Janet in a position similar to the young Donna Summer's—unwilling to accept novelty status and taking her own steps to rise above it." Five of the album's singles—"What Have You Done for Me Lately", "Nasty", "When I Think of You", "Control", and "Let's Wait Awhile"—peaked within the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100.
In July 1993, Jackson made her film debut in Poetic Justice. Rolling Stone described Jackson's performance as "a beguiling film debut" despite her inexperience, while The Washington Post considered her "believably eccentric". Jackson's ballad "Again" was featured on the film's soundtrack, and garnered a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
She later collaborated with her brother Michael on "Scream", the lead single from his 1995 album HIStory, which was written by both siblings as a response to the media scrutiny he suffered from being accused of child sexual abuse. The song debuted at number five on the Hot 100 singles chart, becoming the first song ever to debut in the top 5. Scream is featured in the Guinness Book of Records as the "Most Expensive Music Video Ever Made" at a cost of $7 million. Jackson and her brother won the 1995 Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video for Scream.
Jackson's seventh album, All for You, was released in April 2001, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200. Selling 605,000 copies, All For You had the highest first-week sales total of Jackson's career. The album's title-track, "All for You", debuted on the Hot 100 at number fourteen, the highest debut ever for a single that was not commercially available. Teri VanHorn of MTV dubbed Jackson "Queen of Radio" as the single made radio airplay history,"[being] added to every pop, rhythmic and urban radio station that reports to the national trade magazine Radio & Records" in its first week. The single peaked at number one, where it topped the Hot 100 for seven weeks. Jackson received the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording for "All for You".
The album's lead single "Call on Me," a duet with rapper Nelly, peaked at number twenty-five on the Hot 100. 20 Y.O. Was certified platinum by the RIAA. Billboard magazine reported the release of 20 Y.O. [wikipedia]