Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey were recipients of the Billboard Icon in 2018 and 2019. Both managed to become icons of black female musicians in the United States and the world.
Behind Janet’s successful achievements, there is a long and winding career journey.
Janet is the youngest child of the Jackson family. Since the age of four, she has been a member of the vocal group The Jackson 5 with her brother, Michael Jackson.
At the age of 10, Janet was successfully selected as one of the players in the ‘Good Times’ sitcom (1977). Afterwards, she increasingly played roles in television series, including ‘A New Kind of Family’ and ‘Diff’rent Strokes’.
At the age of 16, her father, Joseph Jackson, signed with A&M Records so that Janet could release her first solo album. Finally the album titled ‘Janet’ was released in 1982 and succeeded in bringing Janet’s name as the first female black singer to top the 1983 Billboard Top Black Album.
After releasing her second album titled ‘Dream Street’, Janet no longer wanted to do business with her father. She broke away from the Jackson family business and chose Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis as producers on her third album, ‘Control’ (1986).
At first, many pessimists of Janet would succeed without the help of her father. However, R&B music and controversial lyrics on the album ‘Control’ made Janet successfully escape from the shadows of The Jackson 5 and Michael Jackson.
This album successfully won six Billboard Awards, including ‘Top Pop Singles Artist’, as well as three Grammy nominations. This album also carries the name Janet as the only black woman who won four of 12 nominations at the 1987 American Music Awards.
Until the era of the 90s, Janet’s career continued to go up and she was increasingly famous as a role model for black women at that time. However, Janet’s career was finally tarnished because of her performance at the 2004 Super Bowl with Justin Timberlake.
At the end of the appearance, Janet tore her clothes and breasts were displayed in front of more than 140 million people, including minors. Because of that reckless action, Janet’s work was blacklisted on various radios and she was not allowed to attend the 2005 Grammy Awards.
When released the ninth album titled ’20 Y.O ‘(2005), Janet was only able to do promotions through magazines and appear on the Today Show and Billboard Awards. The single from the album, entitled ‘Call on Me’, saved Janet’s fate as she made it to number 25 on the UK R&B charts.
RIAA also gave a platinum certificate on the album ’20 Y.O ‘and Janet entered as one of the nominations in the category’ Best Contemporary R&B Album ‘Grammy Awards 2006. In 2007, Janet became the seventh richest art worker for Forbes.
Since 2015, Janet has run her own record label business called Rhythm Nation. This achievement is extraordinary because not many black women have their own record labels.
Because of his courage, BET gave Janet the Ultimate Icon: Musix Dance Visual award in 2015. Three years later, precisely in 2019, the Billboard Music Awards also awarded the Billboard Icon Awards on Janet.
This year, for the third time Janet’s name was nominated in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Finally, Janet and six other musicians successfully entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.