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Remember that time when Janet managed to keep her marriage to Qatari businessman Wissam Al Mana secret… for an entire year?! Janet has perfected the balance of keeping one foot in the limelight while the other stays faaar away. The way that she flies under the radar leaves us curious and wanting more.
Janet has been in the spotlight from a young age—she was only 10 when she was cast on Good Times. Through the years, she has dealt with self-esteem issues, weight struggles and overall depression. But instead of shying away from her history, she took pride in it and used her story to help other young women overcome their own insecurities. “I want to share with you stories from my own struggles,” she said on The Today Show in 2011 while promoting her body-positive book, True You. “I’m an optimist. I know we can change. Problems, even the most sever ones, can be solved. We can be happy with who we are.”
Janet has won six Grammys, 12 American Music Awards, 9 MTV Music Awards and 33 Billboard Music Awards. We rest our case.
We knew Janet could act from day one, when America fell in love with Penny on Good Times. She went on to steal the show in Diff’rent Strokes, then she completely blew us away in Poetic Justice. She hasn’t been in anything since 2010, when she starred in For Colored Girls and Why Did I Get Married Too?, but we know that when Janet headlines on-screen, we’re in for a treat.
Q: How many music videos feature Janet Jackson telling a man off, then leaving him drooling in her wake? A: Too many to count. With song lyrics like “You seem to think you’re God’s gift to this earth/I’m telling you no way” and “Girls may have been easy, but you have to please me/What makes me think that I can say this to you? I know how bad you want this” Janet makes one thing clear: She’s a woman to be reckoned with.
When it felt like the world—and the Jacksons—turned their backs on Michael mid-career, Janet remained by his side. After Michael died in 2009, Janet stepped up to the plate. She was there for Michael’s three kids at the funeral…and every day since. Though the Jacksons are still dealing with some stickiness, it’s clear that family is Janet’s number one priority.
Her name ain’t Baby. Just like she isn’t afraid to play with the big boys, Miss Jackson isn’t afraid to get down and dirty with them either. Her ultra-sensual music videos are everything, and, of course, we can’t forget how she slayed a 1993 cover of Rolling Stone magazine with nothing but a pair of jeans and a flirty smolder. Go ‘head, Miss Jackson.
Her 1989 hit album Rhythm Nation was all about the issues plaguing our society (poverty, crime, racism and violence were just a few themes covered). Her song “Together Again” was a tribute to those who have died from AIDS. “Free Xone” was about overcoming homophobia. “What About” confronts domestic violence head-on. We have mad respect for an artist whose songs have a deeper meaning.
She sings, she writes, she dances, she does it all. The multi-talented singer has written many of her hit songs (and she co-wrote “Scream” with her bro Michael!), and she has racked up four MTV Music Awards for her choreography. Is there anything she can’t do??
Oh, lawd. Justin Timberlake sang that he was going to “have her naked by the end of this song,” at the halftime performance of the 2004 Super Bowl, and that he did. The country was left clutching its pearls after Janet’s breast popped out on live television, but Miss Jackson didn’t let Nipplegate get the best of her. She eloquently apologized and moved on from the incident with grace. Here’s to you, Janet!