Born in Gary, Indiana, Janet Damita Jo Jackson is the youngest of her famous Jackson family siblings. She was not quite 3 years old when her brothers, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael, managed by their father, Joseph Jackson, signed a recording contract with Motown Records and began releasing a string of #1 singles as the Jackson 5. By the time she was 10, Janet's family had moved to California, and she was appearing on the Jacksons' TV variety show. Through the 1980s, she was Penny on the hit sitcom Good Times and also appeared on the TV version of Fame.
Janet came into her own as a recording artist (and as a young woman) with her third solo release, the 1986 album Control, produced with pop-funk masterminds Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Following up with 1989's groundbreaking Rhythm Nation and the sexy 1993 album janet, Miss Jackson solidified her status as a pop icon and superstar of the highest rank. She has won five Grammy Awards, has record sales of over $100 million worldwide, has starred in numerous films and has inspired the masses.
But even as she has set the precedent on what a rock star’s career should look like and essentially hasn’t known a life outside of the limelight, she hasn’t seemed to lose sight of what’s real. Her State of the World tour, the eighth concert series of her career, is a clear reminder of that.
While State of the World is a history lesson in the form of a musical art performance stacked with crisp choreography and pop hits that reflect the decades they dominated, it's also a subtle hint that she is well aware of our nation’s current social and political climate.
Although her lens may be higher up, she sees the aspects of the world that are broken, bruised and oppressed. As a true optimist, she searches for those glimpses of hope and love in each one of her fans. And that’s possibly all anyone could really hope for from an artist with so much influence.
Janet uses her influence for good supporting causes, charities and foundations such as amfAR, Feeding America, the NAACP, the Naked Heart Foundation and the American Red Cross, just to name a few. She takes on philanthropy with as much dedication and enthusiasm as she does her craft of entertainment.
Soft spoken and multidimensional, Janet is going to make sure we hear her voice in more than just her hit songs. She is going to make sure we hear her when she speaks on acceptance, equality, inclusivity, social consciousness and support for others who are on this journey of life with us.
With countless accolades, numerous awards and an all-encompassing display of talents and humanitarianism, Janet Jackson has undoubtedly achieved true rock star icon status, permanently leaving her mark in the history books.