Janet Jackson: Snapshot

Name
Janet Jackson
Date of Birth
May 16, 1966
Birth Place
Gary, Ind.
Jaws dropped when Janet Jackson appeared on a 1993 cover of Rolling Stone with a pair of hands covering her breasts, but she created an even bigger stir at the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show when Justin Timberlake ripped her bustier off, revealing her nipple on national TV.

The scandal launched a debate about indecency, but it couldn't trump her achievements as an entertainer. The youngest of the nine Jackson offspring, Janet cemented her own place in the world of music outside of her late brother Michael's shadow with albums like Control, Rhythm Nation and The Velvet Rope.

On June 25, 2009, tragedy struck the Jackson family when Janet's legendary brother Michael died after suffering an apparent cardiac arrest at 50 years old. In the years since, Janet has turned her attention to her home life, marrying Qatari businessman Wissam Al Mana in 2012.

Janet Jackson: Video

Time Machine

From the beginning of her own Rhythm Nation to being Tyler Perry's go-to girl, see the singer-actress's amazing transformation (00:47)

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Janet Jackson: Five Fun Facts

  1. A chubby kid, Janet Jackson was given the nickname "Dunk" by her late brother Michael because her size made her look like a donkey.
  2. Janet Jackson gave both Jennifer Lopez and Paula Abdul breaks in their careers. Lopez was a backup dancer and had a cameo in Jackson's video "That's the Way Love Goes.", while Abdul choreographed moves for four of Jackson's videos: "Nasty," "What Have You Done for Me Lately," "When I Think of You," and "Control".
  3. Janet Jackson has her tongue, nose, and right nipple pierced and says the nose piercing was done for "a spiritual reason."
  4. As devout Jehovah's Witnesses, Janet Jackson's parents initially forbade their children from receiving any kind of presents, but had relaxed the rule by the time Janet, their youngest child, came along.
  5. Janet Jackson owns a wall-to-ceiling 65-million-year-old shark fossil that she purchased for her home when a museum couldn't come up with the asking price.

Janet Jackson: Biography

1974

Janet Jackson

April 09

Vegas Showgirl

The youngest of the nine Jackson offspring – Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, LaToya, Marlon, Michael, and Randy – Janet makes her show business debut at age 7 with her famous family in their Vegas live show, a routine attraction at the old MGM (now Bally's) casino.

1977

Janet Jackson

November 09

Good (TV) Times

Jackson joins the cast of Good Times in its fifth season, making her acting debut as abused neighbor Penny Gordon. She goes on to play Willis' girlfriend Charlene for 11 episodes of Diff'rent Strokes from 1982-84 and appears in the dance-school drama Fame for one season in 1984.

1981

Janet Jackson

November 30

Sing It, Girl

Urged by her manager/father, Joe, to give up acting and start singing again, Jackson signs with A&M Records and releases her first album, Janet Jackson, an eight-song collection of sugary dance tracks. While the album produces three Billboard Top 20 R&B singles, it's mostly forgettable, especially when compared to her late brother Michael's bestselling album Thriller.

Read More on Janet Jackson's Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: James White/WWPR

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Allen Fredrickson/Reuters/Corbis; CBS/Landov; Robert Matheu/Retna

Edited by Julia Wang

Janet Jackson

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