Janet Jackson is the self-titled debut album by American recording artist Janet Jackson, released on September 21, 1982 by A&M Records. Jackson's career as a recording artist was established by her father and manager Joseph Jackson, who arranged her recording contract with A&M Records.
Prior to her recording contract with A&M Records, Janet Jackson was best known as a television actress; most notable for her role as Penny on the series Good Times and Charlene on Diff'rent Strokes. Janet didn't want any of her family members to participate in the making of the album. She wanted it to be her own project, judged by its own merits. She sang part of the song "The Magic is Working" on the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes to promote it. The cover photo of Janet was taken in the swimming pool of the Jackson family's home.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine with Allmusic gave it two out of five stars, saying "On her eponymous debut album, Janet Jackson demonstrates no distinctive musical personality of her own. If her producers had concocted a sharper set of songs and more interesting beats, Janet Jackson might have been a pleasant set of sunny dance-pop, but as it stands, only "Young Love" stands out among the undistinguished, sub-disco thumpers and drippy ballads."
The Baltimore Afro-American gave it a favorable review, saying "The eight songs simply feature the poised voice of a dynamic individual."
Between 1991 and April 2007 "Janet Jackson" sold 61,815 copies per SoundScan, while through BMG's music club it sold 82,000 copies by 2003. The album peaked at number sixty-three in the United States and at number forty-four in New Zealand.