- 01:02 PM, Jul 26
Janet Damita Jo Jackson is the youngest children in her family born on May 16, 1966 in Gary, Indiana to Joseph and Katherine. Since she was 2, her older brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael Jackson had already begun to perform onstage at nightclubs and theaters. Named themselves the Jackson Five the siblings later on, at the end of 1968, signed to Motown Records and by the end of the following year, they recorded their first of four history-making #1 singles, "I Want You Back." By the time the J5 had achieved success, the whole family moved out of Gary into the more sunnier atmosphere of Southern California, eventually settling in a gated mansion they named Hayvenhurst in 1971. At this point Janet was still 5 years old.
Born into a family of show-business icons, Janet has gone on to become an icon herself. Rising out of the shadows of her family to attain worldwide fame and most importantly breaking away from the distinction of just being Michael's baby sister she had successfully proven her vocal quality. To begin, by the age of 7 Janet had been dreaming to be a horse jockey concerning a growing infatuation with horses. Yet, her father who previously realized the impact of a changing musical scene to J5 dwindle career, had decided to put his entire family to work as entertainers and thus he had had a bigger plan for Janet than just be a horse jockey. As fate would have it the wish came true, as in April 1974, the 7-year-old Janet made her public debut performance at a Las Vegas nightclub with nearly all nine members of the Jackson family. Fortunately, Jacksons could easily become the star of the shows, emulating and imitating various icons, such as Cher and Mae West, in particular. By 1976 Janet and the family's Vegas act got the attention of CBS' Fred Silverman who was desperately trying to find a new variety act after "Sonny & Cher" had ended while ABC had the competing "Osmonds" family show featuring Donny and Marie. After a deal with Fred Silverman, on June 16, 1976 Jacksons debuted "The Jacksons" made them the first African-American family to have a variety show on TV. Sadly the show lasted only two seasons and was canceled in 1977.
At the time Janet was 11 years old her talent was spotted by legendary TV producer