The mention of the name Janet Jackson conjures up images of a pop music superstar. Many of us know Janet for her musical talents and the fact that she hails from a musical family—the Jacksons.
Janet has accrued immense success throughout her music career. Her oeuvre comprises 11 studio albums featuring many hit songs. She has also received numerous awards, including five Grammy Awards, 11 Billboard Awards, and 11 American Music Awards, cementing her place as a musical icon.
She had a multi-generational impact on music, with traces of her influence quite apparent in today's pop icons such as Bruno Mars and Britney Spears.
In a nutshell, her legendary status as a musical star is undeniable.
That said, she did not plan to be a musician despite growing up with and being surrounded by musical class acts.
Janet's Venture into Music and Her Love for Acting
Talking to USA Today, she revealed that her aspirations as a kid were to go to college and train to be an entertainment lawyer.
Nonetheless, fate intervened, and she ventured into the business of making music. The Jackson family had installed a studio in their home to make it easier for The Jackson 5 to record their songs whenever it was most convenient for them or when they got an idea.
One day, Janet was playing around the studio and recording a song before heading to school, but she forgot to delete it.
"I left the tape on the machine, and when I came home from school, I was so embarrassed," Janet told USA Today. "They were listening to the song … my father, some of my brothers."
Her father suggested she pursue a music career. Jackson told USA Today that she rejected the suggestion vehemently. "I said, 'No, no, no, no, no! You don't understand. I want to go to school. I want to go to college and study business law and support myself by acting."
As you can tell, she had set her eyes on acting from an early age. Though she was introduced to the world through music, one might dare say her true passion was always acting.
Blending Music with Cinematic Ventures
Janet first appeared on TV in 1976 on the The Jacksons TV show. She was only ten years old at the time. However, she would make her acting debut in the '70s hit sitcom Good Times. After that, she made several memorable guest appearances on TV shows such as Diff'rent Strokes, A New Kind of Family, Fame, The Love Boat, Rhythm Nation 1814 Film, and The Jacksons: An American Dream.
In 1993, she made her film debut in Poetic Justice, a romantic drama.
After appearing in Poetic Justice, her acting endeavors took a deep as she pursued music. In the early 2000s, she paused making music to advance her acting career. She paused working on the "Velvet Rope" follow-up to focus on acting despite having a recording contract with Virgin Records.
"We've finished about three songs, but we aren't planning to release the album until next year," she said. She only resumed making music after playing the role of Professor Denise Gaines alongside Eddie Murphy in Nutty Professor II: The Klumps.
Janet's film and television roles have shown her affinity for romantic drama and comedy, which aptly intersects with her fun-feel music.