Janet Jackson

More Than Just a Wardrobe Malfunction

Janet Jackson is the youngest sibling of the Jackson family, and has had her own share of successes and scandals. Of all of Michael Jackson’s brothers and sisters, Janet Jackson has arguably had the most successful solo career and has made the biggest name for herself. Janet was born on May 16, 1966 in Gary, Indiana. She is the daughter of Katherine Jackson and Joe Jackson, and was raised in Encino, California in Los Angeles. Janet Jackson first performed on stage at the young age of seven at a routine family show at the MGM Casino in Las Vegas, hinting at what was to come in the future for her. Michael Jackson's family was tight-knit, but also shared the common thread of living in fear of their father, Joe Jackson. A biography of Janet Jackson tells the story that Janet Jackson was not allowed to call Joe “Dad” because he was her manager; instead, she was required to call him “Joseph.” Janet Jackson and Michael Jackson were very close growing up, despite the stresses and pressures of their young careers.

Janet Jackson’s first record contract came when she was just 16, and her first album peaked at number 6 on the charts.

Despite Janet Jackson’s unbelievable musical success in the years to come, one of the things she remains most known for is her Super Bowl controversy. For the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show in February 2004, Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake were scheduled to perform; this was a highly anticipated performance, because Janet and Justin were both known to be such amazing dancers. During Justin’s song, “Rock Your Body,” as he sang the lyric, “Gonna have you naked by the end of this song,” the world watched as Justin tore open Janet Jackson’s bustier, partially revealing Janet Jackson’s nipple. The controversy surrounding the incident was huge; both Janet Jackson and Justin released public apologies, but many media reporters complained about the indecency of the event, considering the fact that children were watching the show.

Nonetheless, Janet Jackson has continued to release albums, including Damita Jo, 20 Y.O., and Discipline. She spoke publicly on behalf of the Jackson family after Michael’s death to express her grief, as well.