Janet Jackson.

Occupation: Actress, Musician
Date of Birth: May 16, 1966
Place of Birth: Gary, Ind., USA
Sign: Sun in Taurus, Moon in Aries
Relations: Brothers: Michael, Tito, Randy, Marlon, Jermaine, Jackie; sisters: Maureen (Rebbie), La Toya; ex-companion: Rene Elizondo; ex-husband: James DeBarge (singer)


HOUGH born into America's greatest musical family, Janet Jackson began her show business career as Willona's adopted daughter, Penny, on the sitcom Good Times. Roles in Diff'rent Strokes and Fame followed, and, in the eighties, she finally managed to shed her brother Michael's eerie shadow to become one of the decade's sexiest and most successful singers. Her third release, Control, recorded in 1986, was her breakthrough; "What Have You Done for Me Lately?" and four other cuts off the album landed on top of the charts. Videos choreographed by Paula Abdul helped foster Jackson's erotic image and increase album sales (she and Abdul were publicly competitive, which may be why they both lost weight around the same time). Rhythm Nation 1814 and its sold-out tour deposited countless more checks to her mutual fund, and four more No. 1 singles on her résumé. In 1996, Jackson signed a record $70-million, five-album deal with Virgin Records. The following year, she released her most personal and revealing album to date, The Velvet Rope, as well as was honored with Soul Train's Lena Horne Lifetime Achievement Award, a career distinction which only seems premature until you remember that Jackson's been in show business for some twenty-five of her thirty-one years.

Jackson is an active anti-drug proselytizer, perhaps in reaction to her first husband's cocaine problems. She teamed up with Michael to produce a hit single, "Scream," and a strangely fascinating video for his greatest-hits album, HIStory. Oddly, she showed up for the 1995 MTV Video Awards wearing a shirt that read "Pervert 2," which, in light of the allegations that were leveled against her brother at the time, has to make you wonder.

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