Janet Jackson’s Dream Career As a Child Had Nothing to Do With Music

Janet Jackson is a music legend, with four decades of hits under her belt and a plethora of experience in the entertainment industry. But becoming an iconic entertainer was never Jackson’s desire when she was a little girl. in fact, she had a very different dream job.

Janet Jackson as a child
Pop singer and actress Janet Jackson poses for a portrait at the Jackson family home in January 1977 in Los Angeles, California | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Janet Jackson grew up in a famous family

Avoiding the world of entertainment might’ve been a difficult thing for Jackson since she was born. She’s the youngest of 10 children and grew up in the Jackson family, which had seen the success of her brothers and sisters in the years before she was born.

In the 1960s and ’70s, the world got to know the Jackson family through the Jackson 5. Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and a young Michael Jackson had No. 1 hit songs including “I Want You Back” and “ABC.”

Janet was the baby of the family. So from an early age, she was well-versed in the art of performance and show business.

Janet Jackson at the Jackson family home in 1977.
Pop singer and actress Janet Jackson poses for a portrait at the Jackson family home in January 1977 in Los Angeles, California | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Janet Jackson wanted to be a horse-racing jockey

Even though people know her because of her music career, Jackson actually wanted nothing to do with show business when she was a little girl. In fact, she had a very different career path in her mind — something she spoke about in a 1987 interview for the Australian series Countdown.

“When I was younger, before I got into the business, I wanted to be a horse-racing jockey,” she said proudly. “I never thought I would be in the same business with my family until my dad asked me to when I was 7 years old if I would perform with my brothers and sisters, and I said, ‘OK,’ and that’s how it all happened.”

In 1976, when Jackson was still a child, the whole family was featured on TV every week in their own variety show, The Jacksons. Michael Jackson was the lead performer in the musical and dance numbers, while Janet, La Toya, and their other siblings joined in on the fun.

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Janet Jackson is a music icon

Of course, Janet Jackson went on to become a best-selling artist in her own right. In 1982, just a few years after her brother Michael embarked on his solo career, Janet released her self-titled debut album.

In 1986, Jackson began her reign of domination over the music world. Her album Control was a sensation; three years later, she started a whole social movement with her Rhythm Nation 1814 album. She continued her reign in the 1990s and 2000s with albums including Janet, The Velvet Rope, and All For You.

In 2022, Jackson’s icon status will be examined in a two-part documentary event, simply titled Janet.

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