Janet Jackson fans around the world are marking their calendars for January 2022. That’s when the pop icon will unveil the landmark four-hour documentary JANET, set to air simultaneously on Lifetime and A&E. Produced by the Banijay UK company Workerbee—and executive produced by Janet and her brother Randy—the film offers an unprecedented look into the singer’s private life.
“This is my story told by me,” says Jackson in a teaser released earlier this month. “Not through someone else’s eyes.”
It’s a story that’s captivated the public for decades. As the 10th and youngest child born into the legendary Jackson family, Janet has been famous since the time she was a little kid. While she appeared on television shows like Diff’rent Strokes and Fame and recorded a pair of albums in the early ’80s, she didn’t really come into her own until 1986’s aptly titled Control, recorded with producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
Control marked the arrival of a brand-new Janet—one in control of her own destiny. The blockbuster LP reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and spawned five Top 10 singles, including the chart-topping “When I Look at You.”
Having successfully stepped out of her famous family’s shadow, Jackson went on to dominate the charts in the ’80s and ’90s. Her next four albums also topped the Billboard 200, and the first of these, Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814, yielded a record seven Top 5 singles. While Rhythm Nation 1814 introduced a tough, politically minded Jackson, she wasn’t about to be typecast. The singer showed her softer side—and kept the hits coming—on 1993’s Janet, which gave the singer another six Top 10 hits.
In all, Jackson has notched 41 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including 27 Top 10s and 10 #1 smashes. Seven of her albums have topped the Billboard 200, including her most recent studio effort, 2015’s Unbreakable.
Jackson remains a popular live draw, and the new documentary promises to peel back the curtain and reveal what goes on behind the scenes, as this pop legend continues to dazzle with her singing and dancing. As Missy Elliott says in the teaser: “This is what a superstar looks like.”