Happy 51st birthday, Janet Jackson! It’s been four decades since the pop star started her career on the variety TV show, The Jacksons, and this Grammy winner is still making headlines.
The 51-year-old kicked off her Unbreakable World Tour in August of last year, performing some show-stopping concerts before postponing the second leg of the tour until 2017 to plan a family. Jackson became a first-time mom in early January, welcoming a baby boy named Eissa Al Mana.
And all hasn't been quiet on the music front: The singer released the music video for her 2015 single, “Dammn Baby,” last year, showing off the killer choreography that she is known for.
The black-and-white video is reminiscent of her 1989 “Rhythm Nation” music video, in which Jackson shows off killer synchronized choreography with a team of backup dancers behind her. The video marks the moment when the youngest Jackson stepped out of her older brother Michael’s shadow, becoming a bona fide star in her own right.
In honor of her milestone birthday, celebrate with a look back at her best-ever music videos.
“What Have You Done for Me Lately” (1986)
Jackson is an angsty young lover in the Dirty Dancing-esque music video for one of her earliest hits.
“The Pleasure Principle” (1986)
Teenage Jackson got sensual in her ’86 hit. The singer performs the entire video alone in a warehouse, proving that sometimes the simplest videos are the best videos. Plus, she coined an incredible move, sliding down a chair that doubtlessly led to total wipeouts across the nation from Jackson wannabes.
At just 20 years old, the baby of the family begs her parents to let her move out and become independent in this adorable clip. The official music video involves an on-stage performance where Jackson proves she can pop and lock it like the best of them (the best being her older brother Michael).
“Rhythm Nation” (1989)
Perhaps the most famous of Jackson’s videos, the title song off of her 1989 album marked her graduation from songs about personal freedom (like the moving-out anthem “Control”) to more socially-conscious music. The epic choreography and dance skills showcased in the clip still hold up almost 30 years later.
Jackson takes a walk down the street in the elaborate and smiley video for her hit, “Escapade.” Looking back years later, it’s impossible not to think that the music video for Bruno Mars’s “Uptown Funk” was inspired by this ‘80s hit.
“Miss You Much” (1990)
The star is a triumphant success returning home in this classic black-and-white video. “I really miss you much,” she sings on the track, but with four albums out in just a few years, the star hasn’t yet given her fans a second to yearn for her pop anthems.
A futuristic slow-motion video accompanies her biggest hit of the 21st century. The in-command pop star quite literally conquers the universe in the most-watched video on her Vevo channel.
“Rock with U” (2008)
This techno house music hit was ahead of its time, forgoing frills to showcase what she does best: dance.