Janet Damita Jo Jackson is an American recording artist and actress. Known for a series of sonically innovative, socially conscious and sexually provocative records, as well as elaborate stage shows, television and film roles, she has been a prominent figure in popular culture since the early 1970s. The youngest child of the Jackson family, she began her career appearing on the variety television series The Jacksons in 1976 and went on to appear in other television shows throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, including Good Times and Fame.
After signing a recording contract with A&M in 1982, she came to prominence following the release of her third studio album Control. Her collaborations with record producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis incorporated elements of rhythm and blues, funk, disco, rap, and industrial beats, which led to crossover appeal in popular music. In addition to receiving recognition for the innovation in her records, choreography, music videos, and prominence on radio airplay and MTV, she was acknowledged as a role model for her socially conscious lyrics.
In 1991, she signed the first of two record-breaking, multi-million dollar contracts with Virgin Records, establishing her as one of the highest paid artists in the industry. Her debut album under the label, Janet, saw her develop a public image as a sex symbol as she began to explore sexuality in her work. That same year, she appeared in her first starring film role in Poetic Justice; since then she has continued to act in feature films. By the end of the 1990s, Billboard named her the second most successful recording artist of the decade, following Mariah Carey. She has amassed an extensive catalog of hits, with singles such as "Nasty", "Rhythm Nation", "That's the Way Love Goes", "Together Again", and "All for You" her most iconic.