Om Janet Jackson
While the rest of her illustrious family was making music history, Janet Jackson spent her childhood on sitcoms. Under her father Joe's supervision, she released two unsuccessful albums in the early '80s. At 18, she eloped with James DeDarge, but annulled the marriage the next year. She called on producer/writer team Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis to record her true debut, the phenomenally successful Control. By the time she followed that up with Rhythm Nation 1814 in 1989, Michael's little sister had recreated herself as a sexy (but sweet), self-sufficient pop success in her own right. A bracing combination of dance pop, modern R&B and hip-hop that buoyed Jackson's thin voice, it set the stage for the rest of her career. With her 1993 self-titled album, she properly introduced the world to Janet the romantic sex kitten, a persona she's brought back with each subsequent album. Since then, other facets of Janet's life (her physique, breakdowns and, yes, wardrobe malfunctions) have often earned more notice than her music, but a steady flow of successful, diverse singles shows Janet continuing to explore her musical identity while her siblings continue to get more eccentric.