Janet Jackson has had an iconic music career that began in 1976, acting in The Jacksons variety show. The “Escapade” singer has been in the spotlight for her entire life. However, when it comes to her romantic relationships, Janet has remained pretty private over the years. Janet was married three times, welcoming her first child, Eissa, with ex-husband Wissam Al Mana in 2017.
At the age of 16, Janet released her self-titled debut album that landed at No. 63 on the Billboard 200. The following year, Janet attended the American Music Awards where she bumped into then-24-year-old NBA superstar Magic Johnson. The pair were photographed kissing at the event but never confirmed that they were anything more than just friends. This was only just the beginning of relationship speculation for a young Janet.
Janet released her second album, Dream Street, in 1984. The Good Times actress later scored her first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with her third album, Control, in 1986. The album sold 6 million copies worldwide and proved to the world that Janet was a force to be reckoned with in the music industry.
“It was all about stepping out, taking control of your life … A certain point in your life when you ask yourself who you are and what you want to do,” Janet told the Los Angeles Times in 1990. “That album was me going through all that.”
The album was inspired by the demise and annulment of her first marriage to James DeBarge. Her family initially did not approve of the relationship but eventually came around. She opened up about why her marriage crumbled in the same interview.
“I wanted to be with him more, but I’d get up at 4 in the morning to be on the set, and he’d just be coming home from the recording studio at that point … The times we would be together, we were so worn out, we’d sleep the entire day,” Janet said.
Her failed marriage didn’t stop her from continuing on with her successful music career. The release of Rhythm Nation 1814 followed in 1989. “Rhythm Nation” remains one of Janet’s most popular songs and music videos of all time. She released 11 successful albums throughout her career, each taking on more meaning than the next. Even through all of the fame, Janet revealed in a 2006 Access interview that she “always wanted to find love.”
Scroll through the gallery below to see a full timeline of all of the men Janet Jackson has dated or married.
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