How many people from this current decade could actually be considered ‘iconic’?
Janet Jackson, the youngest Jackson sibling was born in to the showbiz industry. At the age of 10 she had already appeared on The Jackson’s TV show and American sitcom ‘Good Times’. In 1982 she pursued a music career that her dad forced her into. But it wasn’t until 1986 when she took Control, left her dad and became an independent woman. Since then she has never looked back. Since ‘Control’, Janet has pushed boundaries, giving us solid pop and urban music videos and albums that are still influencing current pop stars today from Rihanna, Usher and Britney.
In this blog entry I will be discussing Mrs Jackson’s most iconic moments in her career and why she is still a superstar today.
Iconic moment #1 – ‘Control’
Janet’s third album and the one that made her. The legendary album was released when she was eighteen years old, working with musical close friends Jimmy Jam & Terry Louis. From the music video’s to the catchy pop songs, this album is killer and very influential. Janet’s line in ‘Nasty’ – “No my first name ain’t baby, it’s Janet, Ms. Jackson if ya nasty!” has been referenced so many times and has been used for others people’s names. For example – Tyra Banks calling ex America’s Next Top Model judge Ms. J Alexandra ‘Ms. J if ya nasty’ on the reality TV show.
Iconic moment #2 – The Pleasure Principle music video
J.Lo, Cassie to Britney, they’ve tried, but don’t even come close to the original. Janet simply dancing throughout the whole video, no special effects, nothing. The video showcases Janet’s incredible talent as a dancer and performer. In 1988 the video rightfully won best choreography at the MTV Music Video Awards.
Iconic moment #3 – ‘Rhythm Nation’ album to break Billboard singles record
Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 became the best selling album of 1990 and made history as the first and only album to generate seven top 5 Billboard hits; ‘Miss You Much’, ‘Rhythm Nation’, ‘Escapade’, ‘Alright’, ‘Come Back to Me’, ‘Black Cat’, and ‘Love Will Never Do (Without You)’ all peaked within the top five on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and four of them went to number one. It is the only album to score number one hits on the Hot 100 in three separate calendar years – ‘Miss You Much’ in 1989, ‘Escapade’ and ‘Black Cat’ in 1990, and ‘Love Will Never Do (Without You)’ in 1991.
Iconic moment #4- Rhythm Nation World Tour 1990
Janet’s debut tour in 1990, visited Europe, Japan and North America and had a total of 119 shows. With an attendance of over two million patrons and ticket sales grossing over $28 million in the United States alone, the Rhythm Nation World Tour remains the most successful debut concert tour by any recording artist.
Iconic moment #5 – Largest contract in pop music history
With the release of Rhythm Nation 1814 Janet Jackson’s contract with A&M Records came to an end. She signed with Virgin Records in 1992 and the $40 million contract was the largest in pop music history. The first album with Virgin was titled janet. It accompanied a change in her stage name dropping the Jackson and becoming simply Janet. The album projected a sexually aware image and included ‘That’s the Way Love Goes,’ the biggest pop single of Janet Jackson’s career.
Iconic moment #6 – Rolling Stones magazine cover
In 1993 Janet appeared topless on the cover of Rolling Stones magazine with her husband at the time, Rene Elizondo covering her breasts with his hands. The photo was taken by photographer Patrick Demarchelier. The magazine cover was cropped for her next album ‘janet.’ where they used a close up for her face for the cover. ‘janet.’ is Janet’s best selling album of all time selling over 20 million copies and is one of the best selling albums worldwide. The Rolling Stones magazine cover has been described many times as ‘one of the most recognizable, and most lampooned, magazine covers’. Since this cover, other cover celebrities have tried to cover Rolling Stones creating the impact this cover did.
Iconic moment #7 – Scream music video
If you have never seen this music video then you must be from another planet. Without a biased opinion, this is one of the best music video’s ever created.
In 1995 the music video was nominated for eleven MTV Video Music Awards, which is more than any video. The video won three awards, including ‘Best Choreography’. In 1996 the video won Best Music Video and Short Film at the Grammy Awards and shortly after that, it made the Guinness World Records as the ‘most expensive music video ever made’ costing $7 dollars.
The video below:
Iconic moment #8 – First artist to be awarded ‘MTV Icon’ award
In 2001, Janet was awarded the first ‘MTV Icon’ award where an event was held in LA where artists payed homage to her. Destinys Child, Macy Gray, P!nk, Usher, Mya, ‘N Sync and Buckcherry all performed at the event where they did a tribute to one of their favourite Janet songs.
Iconic moment #9 – Superbowl XXXVIII Halftime Show
Regardless if you remember this performance for the wardrobe malfunction or the epic performance before that all happened, this is still an iconic moment in her career, due to the fact that people STILL to this day talk about it. I don’t see people talking about 2009′s performer, do you? (Whoever that actually was).
Jackson was later listed in the 2007 edition of Guinness World Records as “Most Searched in Internet History” and the “Most Searched for News Item” and TIME reported the incident as the most replayed moment in TiVo history.
Iconic moment #10 – Janet’s tribute to brother Michael at 2009’s MTV VMA’s
2009, the year we all heard the sad news about Michael Jackson passing away. When it came down to the MTV Video Music Awards that year, Janet made a surprise performance after the mini tribute at the beginning. Janet came to the stage with such power and energy as she performed ‘Scream’, their famous duet they did from the 90’s as MJ is dancing behind her on the screens from the music video. The performance has become one of the most talked about performances and some say ‘most legendary tribute’
Watch it here:
Iconic moment #11 – Most consecutive #1 albums on US Billboard chart
Madonna and Jackson both scored 5 consecutive #1 studio albums on the Billboard 200. The former’s ‘Music’ (2000), ‘American Life’ (2003), ‘Confessions On A Dance Floor’ (2005), ‘Hard Candy’ (2008) and ‘M.D.N.A.’ (2012) records all topped the chart. On the hand, Jackson reached the summit of the Billboard 200 with ‘Control’ (1986), ‘Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814′ (1989), ‘janet.’ (1993),‘The Velvet Rope’ (1997) and ‘All for You’ (2001).
Iconic moment #12 – Most nominated and awarded artist at several award shows
Janet Jackson has won 12 awards from the annual American Music Awards. Jackson also holds the record for the most nominations from one album, 9 nominations in 1987, and 3 more in 1988 for her album “Control”.
Janet also holds the record for the most Billboard Awards of any artist male or female (33).
She is also the only artist to have the Dance, Pop, Rap, Rock, and R&B Grammy nominations.