In quick succession, Jam and Lewis scored R&B hits for the likes of Gladys Knight, Patti Austin, Thelma Houston, and Klymaxx, their signature sound -- lush yet sleek, street-smart yet urbane -- immediately coming into focus. In 1985, they began their collaboration with Jackson, who at the time was struggling to step out of the shadow of her famous musical family, most notably pop icon brother Michael. The album that resulted, 1986's chart-topping Control, made Jackson a superstar, its cutting-edge grooves yielding a string of mammoth hits, including "What Have You Done for Me Lately?," "Nasty," "When I Think of You," "The Pleasure Principle," "Let's Wait Awhile," and the title track. The breakthrough success of Control earned Jam and Lewis a Grammy Award as Producers of the Year and they followed with the Human League's chart-topping comeback smash "Human"; hits for the Force M.D.'s ("Tender Love") and Herb Alpert ("Keep Your Eye on Me") were quickly forthcoming, and the duo even produced tracks for Pia Zadora.
In 1989, Jam and Lewis reunited with Jackson for Rhythm Nation 1814, which proved so successful that it even surpassed the sales of Control. Again, an onslaught of Top Ten hit singles followed, among them the number one triumphs "Miss You Much," "Escapade," and "Black Cat." From there, the duo went on to work with New Edition, not only helming the group's 1989 LP Heart Break but also producing material for the 1990 solo debuts from members Johnny Gill and Ralph Tresvant. A year later, Jam and Lewis founded Perspective, a label backed by A&M Records; its inaugural release, the Sounds of Blackness' The Evolution of Gospel, won a Grammy. For Lewis' wife, Karyn White, they also produced 1991's Ritual of Love, which generated the chart-topping "Romantic." Jackson's janet. followed in 1993, debuting at the top of the charts on the strength of the number one hit "That's the Way Love Goes." Work for Michael Jackson, Boyz II Men, Mary J. Blige, and Vanessa Williams followed before Jam and Lewis rejoined Janet Jackson for 1997's The Velvet Rope. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi