Born Janet Jackson in Gary, Indiana, Janet is the youngest of nine children born into the famous musical Jackson family. She has been in the spotlight from a very young age, as her family was one of the best-known names in show business at the time. Five of her brothers (Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon, Tito, and Michael) started the famous group The Jackson 5, so the family soon moved to L.A. to support the group’s growing success.
In 1974, when she was only seven years old, Janet first performed on-stage with the Jacksons at the MGM Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Two years later, she started performing in The Jacksons variety T.V. show featuring her entire family.
She was so good in the show that she soon landed the role of Penny in the Good Times sitcom, the role she played from 1977 to 1979. She then starred in the sitcoms A New Kind of Family and Diff’rent Strokes, before landing the role of Cleo Hewitt in the teen drama Fame.
She later went on to star in Poetic Justice (1993), Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000), Why Did I Get Married? (2007), Why Did I Get Married Too? (2010), and For Colored Girls (2010).
But her powerful vocals are what propelled Janet to the world of the most successful artists on the planet. She launched her debut album in 1982. Named Janet Jackson, the album was a hit, reaching number 63 on the Billboard 200 chart, and peaking at number 6 on the R&B chart.
Two years later, she released her sophomore album, Dream Street, which was also a success, but not as grand on the charts as her debut. The album was released a little while after she eloped with singer James DeBarge. Their marriage was soon annulled, and Janet continued focusing on her career.
The year 1986 marked Janet’s first real success. After severing all business ties with her family, she issued the album Control, which was the breakthrough in her career.
The album reached number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and gained a fivefold platinum status by RIAA. It sold more than 10 million copies worldwide and featured five Top 5 singles: Control, Nasty, What Have You Done for Me Lately, Let’s Wait Awhile, and When I Think of You.
Control received three GRAMMY nominations, six Billboard Awards, and a record number of American Music Awards nominations that no one has managed to break yet. Out of twelve nominations, Janet won four awards.
She went on to release eight more albums to date: Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989), janet. (1993), The Velvet Rope (1997), All for You (2001), Damita Jo (2004), 20 Y.O. (2006), Discipline (2008), and Unbreakable (2015).
Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814, which sold in more than 14 million copies worldwide and was certified platinum six times, made Janet the first and only musician in history to spawn seven Top 5 hits from just one album. Those hit singles included Rhythm Nation, Love Will Never Do (Without You), Miss You Much, Escapade, Black Cat, Alright, and Come Back to Me.
None of her subsequent albums had the same fame and sales success as her first three albums, although they kept topping the charts.
In 1993, Janet received an Academy Award nomination for Again, the song on the Poetic Justice soundtrack.
Janet Jackson Relationships: Who Has She Dated?
Janet has quite the dating history. She’s been married three times: to James DeBarge, Rene Elizondo, and Wissam Al Mana, with whom she has a son, Eissa Al Mana.
She has been in relationships with:
James DeBarge (1984-1985)
Rene Elizondo (1985-2000)
Wanya Morris (2002)
Jermaine Dupri (2002-2009)
Wissam Al Mana (2010-2017)
In the News
Ever since that unfortunate “wardrobe malfunction” at the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show, Janet hasn’t been making any controversial headlines. It has been five years since she released her album Unbreakable, and fans are asking for more.
Don’t worry! As soon as we know anything about it, you will be the first to know.
Stay tuned with The Shade Room to catch up on the latest Janet Jackson news!