Janet Damita Jo Jackson (born May 16, 1966) 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 appearances, 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 on 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 (1986). 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 (1993), 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.
Having sold over 100 million records, she is ranked as one of the best-selling artists in the history of contemporary music. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) lists her as the eleventh best-selling female artist in the United States, with 26 million certified albums. In 2008, Billboard magazine released its list of the Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists, ranking her at number seven. In 2010, the magazine announced the "Top 50 R&B / Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years", ranking her at number five. One of the world's most awarded artists, her longevity, records and achievements reflect her influence in shaping and redefining the scope of popular music. She has been cited as an inspiration among numerous performers.
For the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show in February 2004, Jackson performed a medley of her singles "All for You" and "Rhythm Nation"; she then performed alongside Justin Timberlake. As Timberlake sang the lyric "gonna have you naked by the end of this song" from his single "Rock Your Body", he tore open her top, exposing her right breast. After the performance, Jackson apologized, calling it an accident, and said that Timberlake was supposed to pull away the bustier and leave the red-lace bra intact. She further commented, "I am really sorry if I offended anyone. That was truly not my intention ... MTV, CBS, the NFL had no knowledge of this whatsoever, and unfortunately, the whole thing went wrong in the end." Timberlake also issued an apology, calling the accident a "wardrobe malfunction". TIME reported that the incident became the most replayed moment in TiVo history and Monte Burke of Forbes magazine reported "[t]he fleeting moment enticed an estimated 35,000 new [TiVo] subscribers to sign up." Jackson was later listed in the 2007 edition of Guinness World Records as "Most Searched in Internet History" and the "Most Searched for News Item". CBS, the NFL, and MTV (CBS's sister network, which produced the halftime show), denied any knowledge of, and all responsibility for, the incident. Still, the Federal Communications Commission continued an investigation, ultimately losing its appeal for a $550,000 fine against CBS.