Janet Jackson has been in the entertainment business for more than 40 years. We’ve seen the singer, dancer, and actress go from an adorable adolescent on the Jacksons’ variety television show back in 1976 to a sexually liberated icon throughout the ’90s and 2000s to now a mother — a mother who’s still doing her thing on tour. To say Ms. Jackson has had a lifetime worth of photo-worthy moments throughout her four decades as an artist would be putting it lightly.
In honor of the Taurus’s 52nd birthday today, we’re taking a look back at some of those moments. From that sweet baby-faced 20-something who told us she was in control to the surprising celebrity snaps that have been captured over the years, here are 12 throwback pics of Janet Jackson you have to see.
Janet Jackson and B2K backstage at the 15th Annual Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards, at The Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, Ca., 4/20/02. Photo by Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect.
Janet and B2K at the 15th Annual Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards in 2002
VALENCIA, UNITED STATES: Calif: Basketball superstar Earvin “Magic” Johnson gets a kiss from pop music superstar Janet Jackson 13 Aug during a party celebrating Johnson’s 33rd birthday at Magic Mountain, a southern Califoria amusement park. Other entertainment and sports celebrities attended the private event. (Photo credit should read Vince Bucci/AFP/Getty Images)
Janet with Magic Johnson at his 33rd birthday party at Magic Mountain
LOS ANGELES – MAY 3: Pop singer Janet Jackson and R&B singer Gladys Knight joke on the set of the first (and last) episode of ‘The Rock N’ Roll Sports Classic’ which aired on May 3, 1978 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images)
Janet with Gladys Knight on the set of The Rock N’ Roll Sports Classic’ in 1978
Spike Lee, Randy Jackson, Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston (Photo by Kevin Mazur Archive 1/WireImage)
Spike, Randy, Janet, and Whitney all in one photo
UNITED STATES – JANUARY 16: Janet Jackson at a celebration of the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Janet at a celebration of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday
Ray Charles and Janet Jackson during 2002 Atlanta Heroes Awards Presented by The Atlanta Chapter of the Recording Academy at The Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta, GA, United States. (Photo by R. Diamond/WireImage)
Ray Charles and Janet at the 2002 Atlanta Heroes Awards
Janet Jackson and Jermaine Dupri during The Coach Luncheon to Benefit Peace Games at the Home of Quincy Jones at Quincy Jones’ House in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by J.Sciulli/WireImage for Us Weekly Magazine)
Janet and her throwback boo Jermaine Dupri
LOS ANGELES – 1986: Singer Janet Jackson poses for a portrait in 1986 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images)
African-American singer, songwriter, and actress Janet Jackson, 1980. (Photo by Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)
And again in 1980
The singer songwriter Janet Jackson with the actor Mr T, 1972. (Photo by Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)
Mr. T. and Janet in 1972
Janet Jackson, Michael Jacksons sister, a singer songwriter, 1972. (Photo by Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)
And the same year with Luther Vandross
FEBRUARY 1984: Pop singer Janet Jackson on the cover of “Right On!” magazine in February 1984. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Janet on the cover of the February 1984 issue of Right On!