Janet Damita Jo Jackson (born May 16, 1966) is an American recording artist and actress. Known for a series of sonically innovative, socially conscious and sexually provocative records, as well as elaborate stage shows, television appearances, and film roles, she is a prominent figure in popular culture.
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After signing a recording contract with A&M, she came to prominence following the release of her third studio album, Control (1986). Her collaborations with record producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis incorporated elements of pop with rhythm and blues, dance,funk, hip-hip, and industrial overtones, leading to appeal in popular music. Her fourth album, Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989), focused on socially conscious themes and various musical styles, and made Jackson the only artist in history to garner seven top five singles from the same album. In addition to receiving recognition for the innovation of her records, choreography, music videos, and prominence on radio and music channels, she was acknowledged as a role model for her lyrical substance.
Jackson signed the first of two record-breaking, multimillion dollar contracts with Virgin Records, establishing her as one of the industry’s highest paid artists. Her debut album under the label, janet. (1993), saw her develop a public image as a sex symbol as she began to explore carnality in her work. Upon its release, she played the starring role in the film Poetic Justice; and has continued to act in feature films, including The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps and the Why Did I Get Married? franchise. Her following album, The Velvet Rope (1997), discussed themes of depression and sadomasochism, spawning the biggest hit of her career, “Together Again”. By the end of the nineties, Billboard named her the second most successful recording artist of the decade, following Mariah Carey. All for You (2001), Jackson’s seventh album, returned to an upbeat, optimistic sound. It was succeeded by Damita Jo (2004), 20 Y.O.(2006), and Discipline (2008).