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Janet
As Janet Jackson gets set to release her ninth studio album 20 Y. O. we take a look back at what has been a long and illustrious career for the youngest member of musicís most discussed family. Here are 20 of the most standout events from Janetís career ~ some groundbreaking, some controversial, all part of the history of one of musicís biggest superstars.

1. MAKES A RELUCTANT MUSICAL DEBUT
Janet made her public performance debut at the young age of 5 in Las Vegas as an opening act for her brothers in a group called The Jacksons. She was a natural star but her heart lay in acting and she soon got noticed in various sitcoms. Her father and manager Joe Jackson however insisted that she pursue music and at age 16 she was pushed into the music business with the release of a self-titled first album that was received with little enthusiasm. At 18 she released her second album, Dream Street and once again, the response was lukewarm.

2. REBELS AGAINST FAMILY BY MARRYING AT AGE 18
Janet had been overwhelmed by the pressure that her domineering father put on her and her siblings and at age 18 she rebelled by eloping with James DeBarge, a member of a Motown band. The marriage was short-lived, owing allegedly to her husbandís drug use. Janetís family was not entirely supportive of the young singer, as was made clear when she was the only Jackson family member not asked to participate in the multi-artist social anthem We Are The World.

3. RELEASES THE BREAKTHROUGH ALBUM CONTROL
After two unsuccessful albums, Janet collaborated with producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis to create a fresher, more energetic sound. The trio worked on what would go on to become Janetís breakthrough release ~ 1986ís Control, an album that spawned six Top 10 hits. Janet became more assertive, making a declaration of control on the title track and spiced things up with choreographed dance moves that would become her trademark. Janet was literally making all the right moves because the album finally gave her a #1 track with the single When I Think of You. The album was a resounding success, selling over five million copies in the US that year and garnering nominations for many awards including the Grammy, Billboard, MTV and Soul Train Awards.

4. RELEASES SOCIALLY-CONSCIOUS FOLLOW-UP ALBUM RHYTHM NATION 1814
Once again taking control of her sound, Janet defied record company executives who wanted a re-hash of the material on the mega-successful Control. Instead she opted for a more socially conscious approach and in 1989 released her second super success, Rhythm Nation 1814. The album spawned a massive six #1 hits and earned her her first Grammy Award for Best Music Video, Long Form (Rhythm Nation 1814).

5. A SERIES OF FIRSTSÖ
With the release of Rhythm Nation, Janet had become a bona fide superstar and her achievements just kept piling up. She became the first artist to have seven Top 5 singles from one LP on the Billboard singles charts. Her Rhythm Nation 1814 Tour became the most successful premiere tour ever. She became the first artist to score a #1 hit simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 and Mainstream Rock singles chart, for the song Black Cat. She won her first MTV Video Music Award and was also honoured with an MTV Video Vanguard Award.

6. FROM SPORTY TO SEXYÖ
Janet is now well known for her sultry image but it only first came to light when she displayed her playful, sexy side in the Herb Ritts-shot video for the single Love Will Never Do (Without You). The video revealed that the serious artist also had a feminine, sexual side, one that Janet continues to celebrate.

7. SIGNS TO VIRGIN RECORDS FOR $40 MILLION
In 1992, after ending her contract with A&M Records Janet signed to Virgin Records in what was an unprecedented event in music history. Her deal was worth a reported $40 million and at the time the largest recording deal in history.

8. THE ALBUM JANET BECOMES THE FIRST ALBUM OF THE SOUNDSCAN ERA TO DEBUT AT # 1
With a mega recording contract in place, Janet was all set to work on her follow-up to the massively successful Rhythm Nation. Her mood at the time leaned towards the sensual and this reflected in the sounds on her next album, simply titled Janet (1993). The genre-bending album contained sultry hits like If, Any Time, Any Place and Thatís The Way Love Goes. Janet became the first album of the Nielsen SoundScan era to debut in the US at #1. The same year Janet made her big screen debut starring alongside rapper 2Pac in the film Poetic Justice. Her song Again featured in the movie and earned her Golden Globe and Academy Award nomination.

9. FILMS SAFE SEX MESSAGE THROUGH RACY VIDEO
Janet was exploring her sensual image but she hadnít lost her socially conscious stance. She promoted the message of safe sex through a racy video for the song Any Time, Any Place.

10. THE INFAMOUS ROLLING STONE COVER
In what was to become one of the most talked about music magazine covers ever, Janet posed topless on the September 1993 cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Naturally, she braved some backlash from conservative readers but Rolling Stone named it their 'Most Popular Cover Ever' in 2000.


You can read the rest of our feature on Janet in the September 2006 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:

Beyonce
Audioslave
Bob Dylan
Fergie
Pink Floyd: Pulse 2006
Scissor Sisters
Dream Theater
Jamelia
Raeth
John Densmore
Lionel Richie
Then And Now: Rod Stewart
Getting Started: Get Going!
DJ Suketu
Jesse Singh
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