Janet Jackson has been in the limelight for almost her entire life. The youngest child in the Jackson performing family, she was a child actress before branching out into her own solo music career. Nearly 30 years ago, she gained widespread fame and acclaim in her own right with her catchy pop and R&B melodies, and along the way she earned the adoration of millions, including many in the LGBT community. Eleven albums later, Janet (Ms. Jackson if you’re nasty) is still on the top of her game, and she started this month with a bang, beginning a world tour in Vancouver. She will bring that tour to Florida later this month for three concert dates.
Janet Jackson’s “Unbreakable World Tour” stops in Miami at the AmericanAirlines Arena on Sunday, September 20 at 8 p.m., then it goes on to Orlando’s Amway Center where the concert will begin at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, September 23. Finally, Janet and her Rhythm Nation will pull into Tampa and she will perform at Amalie Arena on Thursday, September 24 at 8 p.m.
ABOUT JANET JACKSON
Janet Jackson was born in 1966 in Gary, Indiana, the youngest of Joseph and Katherine Jackson’s ten children. A showbiz family, five of her siblings received their big break when they were signed to Motown Records in 1969. As a result, the family moved to Los Angeles. At the age of 11, she earned her first major acting role, playing an abused child, Penny Gordon, on the CBS series Good Times. She would go on to appear in other TV series as a teenager, such as NBC’s Diff’rent Strokes and Fame.
In 1982, she signed a record deal with A&M Records and was originally managed by her father. She broke business ties with her family in 1985 and set out to find her own sound. Her third album, and first to have her seal of approval from start to finish, was Control, released in 1986. It cemented her status as a pop singer in her own right, spawning five singles that reached the top five on the U.S. pop charts: “Control,” “What Have You Done For Me Lately,” “Nasty,” “When I Think of You,” and “Let’s Wait Awhile.” She took three years to craft her next album, the socially aware Rhythm Nation 1814. Seven singles reached the top five from this album: “Miss You Much,” “Rhythm Nation,” “Escapade,” “Alright,” “Come Back to Me,” “Black Cat,” and “Love Will Never Do (Without You).” Her Rhythm Nation World Tour in 1990 was one of the highest-grossing world tours of all time from any musical artist.
In 1993, she released her next album, janet., which, like her previous album, was certified six times platinum in the United States. The lead single, “That’s the Way Love Goes,” went to #1 on the pop charts and won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song. “Again,” the next single, also went to #1, and the next four singles all reached the top ten. In the mid-1990s, Janet would return to acting with a role in the film Poetic Justice. She released a greatest hits album in 1996, which also featured two previously unreleased tracks, one of which, “Runaway,” went to #3 on the pop charts.
The Velvet Rope, released in 1997, was a record-setting album for Janet. The single “Together Again” went to #1 and stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 for 46 weeks, which was a record at that time. “I Get Lonely” reached the top ten and she became the first female artist to have eighteen singles chart in the Billboard Hot 100 top ten. In 2000, she appeared in the film The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, playing Eddie Murphy’s love interest, while she wrapped up work on another album, All for You. It was released in 2001 and became one of the top-selling albums of her career. The title single topped the charts and the next single, “Someone to Call My Lover,” went to #3. At this time, she began collaborating with Justin Timberlake on his upcoming album.
In 2004, she performed a medley of her hits, ending with a surprise performance with Justin Timberlake, at the Super Bowl halftime show. The final song ended with a “wardrobe malfunction” which caused Janet’s breast to be exposed. The fallout from this event was far-reaching: she was forced to withdraw from the Grammys as a presenter and corporate sponsors distanced themselves from her. Her album Damita Jo (her middle name), which was released in the wake of the scandal, was certified platinum, but sales numbers lagged behind her previous endeavors. An unspoken radio blacklist also hurt sales on her 2006 album 20 Y.O.
She returned to acting again in 2007 with a well-received role in Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? Her next album, Discipline, was released in 2008 and it fared better than her two previous releases, with the single “Feedback” peaking in the top twenty. In 2010 she appeared in two movies, Why Did I Get Married Too? and For Colored Girls. She founded her own music label, Rhythm Nation Records, and announced plans to release her next album, Unbreakable, in just a few weeks, on October 2.
JANET: AN LGBT ICON
Janet Jackson has always been a friend to the LGBT community, donating her time and money to various charities and organizations such as amFAR, GLAAD, The Trevor Project and the It Gets Better Project. The music on her 1997 album The Velvet Rope marks the first time she explored such topics as same-sex love and relationships. She has since been recognized for her philanthropy by GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, and AIDS Project Los Angeles, and is currently working on a documentary, Truth, which chronicles the everyday lives of transgender people.
Tickets are available right now via Ticketmaster and can be purchased online via ticketmaster.com or the tour section of Janet Jackson’s website at janetjackson.com. Ticket prices begin at $35 (Miami, Tampa) and $33 (Orlando) for the upper levels, while lower levels are priced at $50 or higher for all three venues. Many lower level tickets have already been purchased; to ensure you get your tickets, purchase them right away.