Janet Jackson is going on tour this year. You should already be screaming. Let's celebrate by going over seven times Ms. Jackson deserved more credit.
7. That time she scared us to death with “What About”
“What About” was the most dramatic moment of “The Velvet Rope,” a blistering anthem about abuse and broken trust in a relationship. Janet annihilated us at the VH1's 1998 Fashion Awards with this strutting, grimacing performance. She is serious and she pulls it off.
6. Her awesome non-single “Strawberry Bounce” is a bopping jam
“Damita Jo” is not Janet's strongest album, but it does contain this salacious little bop. Try to get it out of your head. You can't.
5. She faced off against her dance mentor Paula Abdul at the 1990 American Music Awards
Paula Abdul choreographed Janet's earliest videos, so it was utterly bad-ass to see the two pop divas square off with juxtaposed routines at the 1990 American Music Awards. Somehow Janet is able to follow Paula's amazing performance of “The Way That You Love Me” with a hard-stepping rendition of her own “Escapade.”
4. “Feedback”: the throbbing sleeper jam of the 2000s?
How wasn't this a huger hit? Handle that bass, that chorus, that effortless cool.
3. That time she earned an Oscar nomination for “Again”
Janet Jackson was nominated for an Oscar. Did you know that? Why do we never refer to Janet's Oscar-nominated songwriting on “Again,” the ballad from “Poetic Justice”? Let us bring this up every time we discuss Janet from now on, K?
2. She gave us one of the funkiest dance performances in “SNL” history.
“Throb” was one of the sauciest moments on 1993's “janet.” and during her “SNL” performance of the tune, she took us underground with an old-fashioned danceoff. Everyone is cool as hell. Look as Janet shows them all with her giggly confidence and swagger.
1. We need to respect “Runaway,” the underrated gem of Janet's career
It's whimsical. It's cool. It's a serious beat. It's gorgeous. “Runaway” was one of two new tracks (along with “Twenty Foreplay”) on the greatest hits compilation “Design of a Decade.” It may be the single best song on the whole disc. “Runaway” takes you away, even if you're not watching its cute, globetrotting video. Janet was already a legend by 1995, but “Runaway” put her far ahead of the pop/R&B game.