It’s the third day of Black History Month. I tend to use this time as a way to remind readers – and everyone else of a couple of important facts:
- You can’t love Black artists and their work, and not see them as people
- Black lives — and Black art matters
- Black culture is American culture
So as we go through the month, I’m going to talk about a collection of Black artists. It’ll be fairly comprehensive and eclectic list — although it won’t be a complete list.
So far I’ve mentioned the following artists:
Today, I wanted to talk about Janet Jackson. Over the course of her nearly five decade career, the tenth and youngest Jackson child has sold over 100 million records, making her one of the world’s best-selling pop artists. She also holds the record for most consecutive Top Ten entries on the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart by a female artist with 18. She’s also the only artist in the history of the Billboard charts to have seven commercial singles from one album — Rhythm Nation 1814 — peak within the Top Five.
Back in 2008, Billboard placed her at #7 on the list of the Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists and in 2010, ranked her fifth among the Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years. In 2016, they named her the second most successful dance/pop artist after Madonna. Additionally, she may arguably be on elf the most highly-awarded contemporary artists: Jackson has won five Grammy Awards, 11 Billboard Music Awards, 11 American Music Awards and eight Guinness World Records. Oh and let’s not forget that she has a start on the Hollywood Walk and Fame, and as of 2019, she’s a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee. All of this is well-deserved.
I don’t think you can talk about contemporary pop without mentioning Janet Jackson and her towering influence on it.