Janet Damita Jo Jackson (born May 16, 1966) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and dancer. A prominent figure in popular culture, she is noted for her sonically innovative, socially conscious and sexually provocative records, as well as elaborate stage shows. The tenth and youngest child of the Jackson family, she began her career with 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, Diff'rent Strokes, and Fame. After signing a recording contract with A&M Records in 1982, she became a pop icon following the release of her third and fourth studio albums Control (1986) and Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989). 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 success in popular music. Her sound and choreography became a catalyst in the growth of MTV, enabling her to rise to prominence while breaking gender and racial barriers in the process. Lyrical content which focused on social issues set her reputation as a role model for youth.
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