Janet Jackson Biography

Review The Artist (12)

Janet Jackson-photo
She's the youngest of nine children born to Joe and Katherine Jackson- including Michael, Tito, Marlon, LaToya, and Jermaine. She was always a tomboy as a child - a little chubby, and given to roughhousing. Janet became aware of the performance early on. Since the Jackson 5 were already stars by the time Janet was an adolescent, it may never have occurred to her that it was possible to fail in show business. She had an experience of life completely different from what her oldest brothers and sisters may have known as a poor Indiana family. She was perhaps the most protected child in the family, as the youngest often is.

As she grew, her interests branched in several directions- dancing, acting, singing. She was clearly a performer, but of what kind? She first appeared on stage in her brothers' show in 1973- at the age of seven. In 1977, Norman Lear offered her a job on the CBS hit as Penny Gordon Woods on "Good Times." After that, she appeared on a few shows, "Diffrent Strokes" and "A New Kind of Family" among them. She was doing sitcom acting: not terribly challenging, but highly paid, with good exposure. And as a Jackson child, how could one not draw exposure? Brother Michael was already solo and tearing up the charts with Off the Wall.

In 1982, she released her first album, Janet Jackson. It wasn't bad for a first effort, especially for a sixteen-year-old, but it played it very safe. Janet had yet to find a voice, a style, or an audience. She toured the country, performing in high schools and encouraging the kids there to stay in school. During the tour, she went with her mother to see The Time perform. Two members of the band- Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis- would become major figures in her career. In 1983, she got a role on "Fame." The show, no longer on a network, remained one of the most critically praised shows on TV- and one which somehow had maintained itself as a showcase for singing and dancing, as well as acting and writing. Anachronistic though a musical format may have seemed, the show was much like the high school it portrayed: encouraging talented performers to stay a while and learn before moving on. During her time at "Fame," she remained protected (not surprising, considering she was still a minor at the start of the season) an
d her parents were often on the set. In 1984, Janet, age 18, eloped with James DeBarge and married him. Pressures from a number of different directions intervened- her record company, the demands of her schedule, her youth. By the following March, she moved back in with her parents and had the marriage annulled.

Also in 1984, Janet released her second album, Dream Street. Inflected by the dance-pop of the time (it was produced with help from Giorgio Moroder, of Flashdance fame), it was little more than a statement of musical presence on Janet's part: I'm here, I'm making music, heads up. It was not well-received.

The album peaked at #147 on the charts and Janet retreated to think about her next album. She listened to other songs, worked intensively with songwriters and producers, and cultivated a coherent sound which had been lacking the previous effort. This sound is still recognizable in Janet's music: a blending of the sharp opening phrases and commanding bass lines of funk with the melodic sense of soul, and the rhythm backing of 80s dance-pop and, later, rap.

The album that pulled these things together was 1986's Control. It was her first album with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. It transformed all of their careers. It hit number one, putting six singles on various charts. Among the charts that Janet simultaneously occupied the #1 position on were dance, black and pop- which describe the meld the album achieved. It took the hard beat background and laid a funk-riff melody over it, with Janet not always so much singing as keeping a vocal rhythm.

The album was aggressive, in tone and melody. It was a clear stepping out from behind her parents'- and brothers'- coattails. "What Have You Done For Me Lately" is the voice of a woman taking control of her voice and her man, "Control" (the title track) being what the album is all about. The album was all about Janet- and who she wanted to be. It was sexier than any past album- enough to disturb her mother a bit. Janet knew it would, but weighed her need to get out of the nest against that- and that need won.The singles from the album just kept coming: five of the tracks from the album became top 5 pop hits. Janet spent most of 1986 and 1987 supporting the album and remixing the songs into dance versions. (Many of these versions were released as Control- The Remixes.)

Rolling Stone reviewer Rob Hoerburger called Control "a better album than Diana Ross has made in five years." Ms. magazine named the album one of the musical landmarks of the past 20 years. By 1989, Janet released her next album, Rhythm Nation 1814. What exactly did 1814 mean? Well, R and N are the 18th and 14th letters of the alphabet, respectively... but that wasn't quite it. If, as People reviewer Ralph Novak claimed, Janet was "making a strident declaration of independence" with Control, Rhythm Nation was a few years down the road. 1814 refers to the year that Francis Scott Key wrote the "Star Spangled Banner," and the album was about some of the troubles of this Rhythm Nation. She said at the time, "Control was about my life; Rhythm Nation is about what's going on in the world around us."

Rhythm Nation was accompanied by a long-form video project, encompassing a number of the songs from the album, in a conceptually coherent form. It's a morality play featuring two young shoeshine boys, which director Dominic Sena tried to film in the style of a vintage musical. The tour that followed was as much of a production: huge, expensive, and theatrical.

If some tracks on Control and Rhythm Nation 1814 were hard for mother Katherine to take, janet, her 1993 follow-up, should, as Michael Odell put it, "turn her to the bottle... she really puts the bedsprings through their paces." The album retains the assertiveness of Control, the political awareness of Rhythm Nation, and adds a frank sexual tone. The British publication VOX said that "Musically, she touches all bases; lyrically, she hardly gets out of the sack."

Around the same time janet was released, she starred in John Singleton's Poetic Justice. The film, about the meaning of poetry in an urban setting, gained Janet some respect for her acting. Oddly enough, she had attended the same junior high school as John Singleton- "I remember his as this little kid with 'Coke bottle glasses,' who had all these books," Janet said. "After [meeting on the set of Steven Spielberg's] Hook, we got together and it all just happened from there."

Since then, she's spent time building her acting skills, writing songs, and maintaining relationships. She remains close with Michael still- as kids they'd play piano together. She still talks to him mornings, supported him in public during his roughest times. The key she wears on an earring is a gift from him- it was to the cage of a baby deer they took care of as kids. One day, he attached it to the earring- and she has left it there. The two siblings joined forces on Michael's video (currently the most expensive music video ever made) "Scream."

With the release of her seventh album, Behind The Velvet Rope, Janet joined longtime collaborators Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis on a project that set out to tackle social issues like domestic violence and the AIDS crisis. The first single from the album, "Got "Til It's Gone," features a sample from an artist accustomed to speaking out through music - Joni Mitchell (trivia: the sample comes from Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" 1970). According to Janet, "It's kind of like therapy...In the past, I've always found a way to not have to face the pain I've experienced growing up; I would brush it aside and keep going," she says. "But I'm at a point now where self-discovery has become important, and this album is kind of like a self-examination."

And like "Got 'Til It's Gone's" recurring chorus, "Joni Mitchell never lies," Janet assimilates the statement to a new level in her own career, "I've always had this need, when I discover a truth, to share it musically," Jackson said. "A lot of times when I've felt alone, music has helped me get through it. Maybe this album will strike a chord with some people out there when they're going through difficult times."

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history of janet jackson | Reviewer: soraya | 2/23/13

this review i read about janet jackson. iam doing a history porject on janey jackson `she is the queen of mucis like her borther .janet jackson is my favorite singer,dancer,and acter.i like janet jackson.

Songs | Reviewer: Carlos Antonio Vital Castellanos | 5/13/11

My name is Carlos. I was thinking the other time about your relative Michael J. But MJ beside I wrote other songs I also gave some him to sing. Eventhough He never payed me money, I still recall him as anyone as people who really musicians and really likes music, and also like one like mine.

I don't make this point as the most important of the world. He deserves rest. He in his History is one of the most famous singers ever. Now He's dead.

Like days like they had when money and fame were like almost inmortal, the love he reflects in his shows had been one of the most popular ever since.

We as one of the other mortals in common with him sometimes would say idols that are made in my way in some others, have we to give after dead of He himself the most part of it?, I gave the most parts of the less of the most important ones.

I as mexican as person and as universitian have power to think and instead of watching the bad have still the conciousness to see I He himself could fail and show His own causes not to throw He in the Heaven directly to his own public.

The expression of human is not always related to the author of the matter He still has to feel himself the reality in own and to see his errors before He dies.

And by last love He profesed is demostrated, The time of his dead is still like polemic for others is still alive, for us is still music and others more are his most loyal apostles like did the Jesus in times of the Roman Empire, they remember.

The themselves the other countries inhabitants that were the disciples of his music, religion, apostasies, sexualities and more, are now more and more like hitted by death of MJ.

Now they know that resurection of a leader like him is biblic and the other humankind can be the lasts in his list and the earth that people on earth they were only part the real public mass in thw world the lived to heal himself in it and each other, to feel they are alive. Now it is part of the history of music and real music and real singers and real chorus, who have now money to eat . And If We think of him We try to make sense of human, the hand He gaved to poverty and the hand
He was like giving myself to believe to be ourselves and to love each other in my case the other sex, and to gave each other the mankind the express is almost exactly the goal He reached.


His former composer
Carlos Antonio Vital Castellanos

i love you | Reviewer: amina | 1/20/11

janet i just want to say i love you and all familly jackson because i was a fan of you and michael ever my chilhood and i'm really sorry for michael.please say at paris prince and blanket i love them.

My Icon | Reviewer: ebbe | 10/25/10

I really adore you Janet every since I was a little girl. I met Mr. Jimmy Jam in Philadelphia a few years back and he spoke about his mother being at his house in a black-out. We had a long conversation and I should have told him that I wrote songs, design clothes and you are my Idol. I met your father much later in the years and I told him that you were my Idol and to please give you this hand written letter. But who knows if you received it. Oh and I even went to your concert by myself in 2001. I love you! And God Bless. Hope to meet you someday. ebbe

your awesome | Reviewer: Mrs Micheal Jackson | 10/13/09

I love your music but also my husband micheals 2
I love your song scream sung by u and micheal
i feel so sorry for you and ur famliy sice u lost micheal BUT no need to worry micheal will always be with us

Love janet | Reviewer: tequilla sibert | 2/22/09

I love janet she has been my role model every since I was a little girl she has inspired me aot but now I have a eight year old son so I haven't song in years so I still listen to her music all the time and her and micheal is so close like my brothers and i. I hope one day I can go back to singing.

just like me | Reviewer: acacia jackson | 11/30/08

janet you are just like me i am the 4th child of 6 and i always put the bad things beside and let music take over. it help me understand the things in this world a lot better. you and your music help me get throw my depression starting in the 3rd grade until the 9th grade. i can say i am happy but i'm not because i am not doing the thing i love most and that is singing. thank you so much acacia jackson aka kk

you've inspired m eto be a proffecional dance teacher and to have my own studio. | Reviewer: mari santanero | 3/18/08

i love how you dance,you can or you have inspired other people to follow their dreams for exaple me i love dancing i have tried to get into dancing progams since i was 11 years old i have gotten into gymnastics and hip-hop lessons and ballet but i decided know i wan to be a proffecional dance teacher and show many people out there that you can do anything and be anyone if you just put your mind into it and your hard work will pay off.

go girl | Reviewer: kaykay | 10/14/07

u is a good sing how old r u how many chilern do u have is u married i love u i want meet u so bad that when i see your pics it make me cry

she is good singer | Reviewer: jasmine | 3/23/07

i think she is a very good singer and i got all her abulms

MrSEXY DAMiTA JO! | Reviewer: Anonymous | 11/13/05

Janets my life! I Love her! You know how beautiful she is on the inside. shes amazing inspiring and most importantly Accepting, yes definetly a rock god, her sexual image is dangerous wild and shes just bloody unique, love you so much babe
Mr Damita Jo Fan 4 Life!
All For You
Rhythm Nation
Velvet Rope
Luv you.

Miss Jackson if you're Nasty! | Reviewer: Victoria | 8/10/05

You're cool,Janet,you're cool!;) Love ya, girl!
You and Michael are GODS OF MUSIC.

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