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10+ Facts About Janet Jackson Fans Didn't Know

Janet Jackson may be the youngest of nine siblings, but she's always held her own.

She did so with her record-breaking career (she's won several Grammys), in handling scandal with grace (that Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction, anyone?), and in her surprising acting career.

She refuses to be left behind in anyone's shadow. Here are 10+ facts fans didn't know about the original princess of pop.

1. She's the youngest of nine siblings:

Instagram | @janetjackson

Janet was born in Gary, Indiana, on 16 May 1966 to her parents, Katherine and Joseph.

Her siblings are Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, LaToya, Marlon, Randy, and, of course, the late Michael Jackson.

2. She was on two different sitcoms as a kid:

Instagram | @janetjackson

While most of her brothers dominated stages as the Jackson Five, Janet dominated TV sets.

When she was a kid, she appeared on Diff'rent Strokes and Good Times as Penny.

3. Jennifer Lopez was her backup dancer:

Before JLo became the huge star we know her as today, she was a backup dancer for Janet and The New Kids on the Block.

You'll see her dancing for Janet in the music video, “That’s The Way Love Goes.”

4. She's inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

This was a full-circle moment for the Jackson family, as her five brothers in the Jackson Five were inducted in 1997.

Her brother, Michael, was inducted on his own as a solo artist in 2001.

In her induction speech, she was understandably emotional.

Instagram | @janetjackson

"In 1997, my brothers were recognized for their musical passion by being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and I was so, so proud...I was always crashing their rehearsals. I was always tagging along, always with my brothers. Tonight, your baby sister has made it in," she said.

5. She took a gamble on her "Rhythm Nation 1814" album:

Instagram | @janetjackson

Following the success of her "Control" album, her management wanted her to stick to the same style.

But Janet took a risk instead — one that paid off, big time, as it seamlessly blended pop with a take on social issues. She's since earned several Grammy awards for her mark on music.

6. She did not have a normal childhood:

Instagram | @janetjackson

Being raised in a family of performers had its downsides.

“You really miss out,” she told The Sunday Times. “You don’t get to do all the fun things that kids do."

"I wanted to do gymnastics, but that couldn’t happen because I was busy working," she continued.

Instagram | @janetjackson

Thankfully, she had her brothers and sisters to keep her company during these busy times.

"They were my best friends.”

7. She had a complicated relationship with her father:

Instagram | @janetjackson

This was evident by the fact that Janet and her siblings weren't allowed to call him "Dad." They had to call him by his first name instead.

"The sound of his car stopped us cold. We’d scatter like roaches, off to our rooms, ducking down low so as not to be visible through the windows," she told Marie Claire UK.

"We didn’t know what mood Joseph was bringing home," she said of the violent disciplinarian.

Sadly, it was often a bad mood, one that would cause Joseph to beat up her eight siblings.

As the youngest, she escaped from his aggression.

8. She wanted to be a lawyer when she was younger:

Instagram | @janetjackson

It was actually Janet's father who encouraged her to become a performer, just like her siblings.

"He wanted me to become this wonderful performer. He encouraged me. Music became my passion."

9. She eloped with her childhood friend, James DeBarge, in 1984:

Instagram | @janetjackson

Their marriage only lasted three months since James was struggling with addiction.

But more than anything, it sent a message to her father that she wanted control over her life.

10. She's no longer friends with Justin Timberlake after their Super Bowl Incident:

It was the #nipplegate seen all over the world when Justin Timberlake accidentally exposed Janet Jackson’s bare breast.

People were outraged since the incident happened live and couldn’t be censored.

But it was Janet who got the blame when this happened, not Justin.

Timberlake even returned to the Super Bowl to headline in 2018.

In 2009, Justin admitted that he feels bad about everything. "I wish I had supported Janet more," he told Entertainment Weekly.

11. She returned to acting after the Super Bowl incident:

Universal Studios

After three of her albums tanked after the incident, she went back to where it all started: acting.

She took on lead roles in Nutty Professor II: The Klumps and Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?.

12. She struggled with body image issues from a young age:

Instagram | @janetjackson

Since she was developing a chest quickly while working on Good Times, the show took extreme matters.

"They would put gauze around my chest to make me smaller," she told Marie Claire UK.

"And I think that has an effect on you, things like that when you’re growing up. As if who you are isn’t good enough."

Instagram | @janetjackson

As a child actress, it wasn't easy having people judge her body from such a young age.

This has led the singer to yo-yo diet a lot as an adult.

13. Out of all of her siblings, she was the closest to Michael:

Instagram | @janetjackson

The last time she saw him before his death was just two days before her 43 birthday.

“We had so much fun that day,” she said in her first interview after his death with Harper's Bazaar.

“We kept calling each other after and saying how great it was."

She told Oprah Winfrey that it's "hard to believe still to this day" that he's gone.

"There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about it -- that all of us in the family don't think about it -- every single day."