Janet Damita Jo Jackson (born May 16, 1966) is an American singer, songwriter, dancer and actress. Known for sonically innovative, socially conscious, and sexually provocative records, elaborate stage shows, and high-profile television and film roles, she has been a prominent figure in popular culture for over 30 years.
The youngest child of the Jackson family, she began her career with the variety television series The Jacksons in 1976 and went on to appear in other television shows throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, including Good Times and Fame. After signing a recording contract with A&M Records in 1982, she became a pop icon following the release of her third studio album Control (1986). Her collaborations with record producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis incorporated elements of rhythm and blues, funk, disco, rap, and industrial beats, which led to crossover success in popular music. In addition to recognition for the innovation in her records, choreography, music videos, and prominence on radio airplay and MTV, she was acknowledged as a role model for her socially conscious lyrics.
In 1991 Jackson signed the first of two record-breaking multimillion-dollar contracts with Virgin Records, establishing her as one of the highest paid artists in the industry. Her debut album under the label, Janet (1993), saw her develop a public image as a sex symbol as she began to explore sexuality in her work. That same year, she appeared in her first starring film role in Poetic Justice; she has continued to act in feature films. By the end of the 1990s, she was the second most successful recording artist of the decade. The release of her seventh studio album All for You (2001) coincided with a celebration of her impact on popular music as the inaugural MTV Icon. After parting ways with Virgin she released her tenth studio album, Discipline (2008), her first and only album with Island Records. In 2015 she partnered with BMG Rights Management to launch her own record label, Rhythm Nation, and released her eleventh studio album Unbreakable the same year.