Janet Damita Jo Jackson was born on May 16, 1966. Just like her eight older siblings, she was born in the Chicago Metro area, in the city of Gary, Indiana. There, her father Joe was working in the industry, one of the region’s most important. However, the family’s interest soon turned to music. The Jackson 5 rose to success and the youngest of the clan didn’t spend much time in the Midwest. She was still a child when they moved to Encino, on the West Coast, and Janet was raised in California. Her childhood was more quiet than her brothers’. She was able to attend schools, spend more time with her mother and even watched the Jackson 5 cartoon on TV! But, even so, fame did not take long to arrive.
The youngest child started as a feature on the family’s TV show, and then was cast on Good Times, where she was known as little Penny. She also acted on other series, like Diff’rent Strokes. Janet already identified as an actress, but her father had more ambitions for her: the singing career. And without even having any identity tying it to the artist Janet would come to be, the Janet Jackson album was released in 1982. The record, however, was not the expected success, having a less than stellar performance on the charts. Apathetic towards the direction of her career, she joined the cast of the television series Fame.
Without any desire to keep being controlled by her father, Janet took an important decision in 1984 and married James DeBarge, from famous R&B group DeBarge, at the time of the release of her second studio album – Dream Street. The marriage, however, did not work out. James had a drug problem and their closeness was no longer healthy. After the divorce, Janet didn’t want to go back under the domain of Joe and fired him from the post of manager of her career. She hired one of the executives A&M, who introduced to the duo of producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis from Minneapolis. Since then, Janet made music history. The Control album took her to stardom, later reaching the 100 million mark of albums sold worldwide. She was also starred blockbuster movies, tours and even wrote a best-selling book.
In 1991, she secretly married Mexican-American René Elizondo, Jr., who she had met in the middle of the 80’s. René was a creative influence over her career, directing music videos and composing songs with her. They separated in 1999 and the union was revealed only when he filed for divorce in 2000. The multimillion-dollar claim generated the song ‘Son of a Gun’ – although Janet denies that referred to it. In 2001, Janet Jackson recorded the remix to ‘Someone To Call My Lover’ with producer Jermaine Dupri, famous for hits by Mariah Carey and Usher. At a birthday party, he gifted her with a pager, which was one of her wishes at the time. Hence a relationship that lasted until 2009, finishing on friendly terms. JD also participated actively on her career, especially on the album 20 Y.O., and still producing for Janet after their breakup.
In 2013, Janet married Qatari businessman Wissam Al Mana, whom she had met in the 00’s – given their interest on fashion. Since then, Janet lived a more reserved life in the Middle East, until the May 16th announcement of her new project in 2015.