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The lead single "That's the Way Love Goes" won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song and topped the Billboard Hot 100 for eight consecutive weeks.The album experimented with a diverse number of genres, including contemporary R&B, deep house, swing jazz, hip hop, rock, and pop, with Billboard describing each as being "delivered with consummate skill and passion." Jackson took a larger role in songwriting and production than she did on her previous albums, explaining she found it necessary "to write all the lyrics and half of the melodies" while also speaking candidly about incorporating her sexuality into the album's content.In March 1969, the group signed a record deal with Motown, and soon had their first number-one hit.The family then moved to the Encino neighborhood of Los Angeles.Famous for its choreography and warehouse setting, the "Rhythm Nation" video is considered one of the most iconic and popular in history, with Jackson's military ensemble also making her a fashion icon.The video for "Love Will Never Do (Without You)" is notable for being the first instance of Jackson's transition into sexual imagery and midriff-baring style, becoming her trademark.Her collaborations with record producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis incorporated elements of rhythm and blues, funk, disco, rap and industrial beats, which led to crossover success in popular music.
A prominent figure in popular culture, she is known for sonically innovative, socially conscious and sexually provocative records, and elaborate stage shows.
The ninth and youngest child of the Jackson family, she began her career with the variety television series The Jacksons in 1976 and went on to appear in other television shows throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, including Good Times, Diff'rent Strokes , and Fame.
After signing a recording contract with A&M Records in 1982, she became a pop icon following the release of her third and fourth studio albums Control (1986) and Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989).
After her second album, Jackson terminated business affairs with her family, commenting "I just wanted to get out of the house, get out from under my father, which was one of the most difficult things that I had to do." Control was declared "remarkably nervy and mature" for a teenage act, also considered "an alternative to the sentimental balladry" which permeated radio, likening Jackson to Donna Summer's position of "unwilling to accept novelty status and taking her own steps to rise above it." The album spawned five top five singles, "What Have You Done for Me Lately", "Nasty", "When I Think of You", "Control", and "Let's Wait Awhile", and a top 15 hit with "The Pleasure Principle". The album's lyrical content included several themes of empowerment, inspired by an incident of sexual harassment, with Jackson recalling "the danger hit home when a couple of guys started stalking me on the street and instead of running to Jimmy or Terry for protection, I took a stand. That's how songs like 'Nasty' and 'What Have You Done for Me Lately' were born, out of a sense of self-defense." The accompanying music videos shot for the album's singles became popular on MTV, and obtained a then-unknown Paula Abdul a recording contract for her choreography work with Jackson.
Billboard stated "[Jackson's] accessible sound and spectacularly choreographed videos were irresistible to MTV, and helped the channel evolve from rock programming to a broader, beat-driven musical mix." Jackson released her fourth album, Rhythm Nation 1814, in September 1989.