Janet Jackson, the youngest of nine children in the musical Jackson family, was born in 1966 in Gary, Ind.
Growing up, Jackson made appearances with family group the Jackson 5 but primarily focused her energies on acting. As a child star, she appeared in shows including Diff'rent Strokes and Fame.
Proving she could act, Jackson then set out to conquer the music industry. Although the singer is now considered to be a staple in the American music scene, it wasn't until her third album, Control, that she found her tune – and sold five million records.
Her albums that followed, including Rhythm Nation 1814, Velvet Rope and All For You (which sold 600,000 copies in its first week out) were enormous successes.
The pop culture icon was involved in a long-term relationship with music exec Jermaine Dupri, but rumors of a split swirled when Dupri was noticeably absent from Michael Jackson's funeral in July 2009. The "Black Cat" singer is currently married to billionaire Wissam Al Mana.