This Day in Black History: Nov. 24, 1956

Songwriter/producer Terry Lewis was born in Omaha, Nebraska.

Posted: 11/24/2013 12:00 AM EST

Terry Lewis, one half of the renowned songwriting and production duo Jam and Lewis, was born in Ohama, Nebraska, on Nov. 24, 1956. His family in the early '60s migrated to Minneapolis, where he met future business/music partner James Harris III, better known as Jimmy Jam.

Jimmy Jam is credited with reshaping the landscape of Black and popular music through their work with Janet Jackson, the Sounds of Blackness, BoyzIIMen, Patti LaBelle and other acclaimed artists.

But before he fell for music, Lewis had his eyes on a Super Bowl ring, and earned a scholarship to play football at Notre Dame University. He turned to the industry that brought him great fame and achievement after a knee injury in his senior year landed him on the sidelines and prevented him from going to college.

Jam and Lewis achieved their first claim to fame with Janet Jackson, transforming her image from Michael's kid sister to a star in her own right with the album Control.

"Janet was like a stick of dynamite," Jam told Elle magazine. "We lit the fuse."

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(Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

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