List of artists influenced by Janet Jackson

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Jackson performing on her Number Ones, Up Close and Personal tour.

Janet Jackson is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and actress. She began her career as a child star in several sitcoms during the late seventies, before transitioning into popular music with her self-titled debut album and breakthrough, Control.[1] In addition to being declared a global "pop culture phenomenon,"[2] Jackson is considered an iconic figure in the fields of pop music,[1] entertainment,[1] fashion,[3][4] along with dance and choreography.[5] Her collective body of work has been cited to create templates for numerous artists who have emerged following her.[6][7]

By 2008, Jackson had been the most-searched person in internet history, and upon the debut of her tenth studio album, ranked as the ninth biggest-selling pop artist and second most-successful female artist within contemporary pop.[8] The influence of her musical themes, image, music videos, choreography, films, and media controversies have bestowed her with various titles by critics, which include the "Queen of Pop", "Empress Of Pop", "Queen Of Sex", "Queen Of Entertainment", "Queen Of Music", "Bonafide Sex Queen",[9][10][11][12][13][14][15] in addition to "Erotic Queen of Pop"[16][17] and "Queen of Dance."[18][19] Observing her "broad-based, widespread appeal," Mark Seliger considered Jackson "the most recognized" female pop artist of "the 80s, 90s, and today," while Tris McCall appointed her "the direct forerunner" within modern pop.[7][20] Leah Simpson also declared her "a legendary singer and actress," who would "always be a prominent figure in the industry."[21]

Influence and commentary[edit]

"Jackson's uncanny ability to remain permanently near the pop-culture vanguard is impressive enough, but coupled with a fiercely unflagging iconoclasm and vigorous independent streak, her position in pop is nothing short of legend."

—Josh Love of Stylus Magazine on Jackson's influence.[22]

Jackson is among the most influential artists in popular music.[23] Universal Music stated, "Her musical style, choreography, lyrical exploration, and self awareness has made her one of the top artists of our time as well as a leading influence on the upcoming stars of tomorrow."[23] Of her own influences, she said, "There are artists, true performers that have come before me who have been a big inspiration to me. I hope I do the same for others."[16] Citing her image, performing attributes, and musical traits; Ernest Hardy declared her "the unheralded mother-architect, for better or worse, of the current pop world... While it's a conditioned reflex for mainstream critics to heap praise upon Madonna as the mold from which MTV's pop brigade is stamped, the truth is a bit more complicated."[24] Judy Faber of CBS News observed her influence, ranging from "her acrobatic dance moves to her birdlike singing voice," to be emulated by various artists.[25]

Upon the release of Discipline, Paul Lester commended her as "the ninth biggest-selling pop act of all time, the second most successful female artist ever and the most searched-for person in internet history."[8] MTV News commented, "Janet Jackson's superstar resolve is made of pure steel.. If we could've made Janet Jackson the MTV Artist of the Century, we would have."[26] Marcello Carlin of Stylus credited her sonic innovation and musical themes to create templates for "nearly all worthwhile 21st century pop."[27] Simon Reynolds also declared her to have "drafted a new blueprint for dance pop" with her early recordings, via the usage of drum machines and synthesized basselines.[28] Additionally, Robert Hilburn observed artists to incorporate the "Janet Jackson school of youthful Top 40 attitude" as a model for their artistry.[29] Out Magazine stated:

Musical influence[edit]

"We have yet to see what impact Taylor's record ["1989"] will have on the music world.. it's not hard to see how Jackson has changed and affected pop as a genre. From Beyoncé .. to Britney Spears to Robyn to Sleigh Bells, the influence of Jackson's game-changer of a record is still rippling through the radio waves (or SoundCloud waves) today."

—Brenna Elrich of MTV News, in comparing Jackson with younger contemporaries such as Taylor Swift.[30]

Tris McCall called Jackson "the direct forerunner of most current female pop stars," adding, "The techno-soul hybrid she pioneered in the '80s (and the conflation of transgression, liberation and desire at the heart of much her writing) is now the sound of the commercial airwaves. Rihanna, Britney Spears... they've all followed in Jackson's stiletto-heeled footsteps."[7] While having "changed the course of females in pop music," Taylor Ferber of VH1 stated, "Janet was a trailblazer, fusing pop [with varied genres], raising the bar for music video choreography, speaking out about social injustice and breaking racial and sexual taboos. The trends she started in fashion and music can still be seen in the work of today's female stars."[31]

Kelly Crane stated, "[her] name is constantly mentioned when other artists — Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears to name a few — are asked who inspires them."[16] The Khaleej Times observed Jackson to establish a template for Rihanna, while NME noted the emergence of "pneumatic mini-Janets" such as Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Lopez.[32][33] Rashod Ollison recognized various artists and boy bands to "owe a huge debt to Jackson for the dance and musical templates she set," heralding her influence on "today's pop vixens for whom she set the template."[6][34] Jon Pareles cited her to "shape Britney Spears, Beyoncé, the Pussycat Dolls and much other current pop".[35]

Through her "versatility and mastery of a bewildering array of styles," Virgin Records observed her to influence an eclectic range of artists.[36][37] According to The Guardian, Jackson has become "the paradigmatic cyber-diva of modern machine soul, a key influence on her successors, from Whitney to Mariah, Britney to Beyoncé."[8] Justin Timberlake, Adam Levine,[38] and Bruno Mars[39] consider her a notable influence, in addition to European artists Cheryl Cole and Robyn,[40][41] and Asian artists including Lee Hyori, BoA, and Girls' Generation.[42][43][44] Jackson is among the most prominent fixtures in remix culture;[45] receiving uncommissioned remixes by electronic artists such as Disclosure and Skrillex.[45][46] In indie rock, she has inspired albums by The Black Keys and Sleigh Bells.[47][48] Her vocal attributes have inspired Yukimi Nagano of Little Dragon, Jamie Liddell, and Class Actress,[49][50][51] while the vocal styles of Ariana Grande, FKA Twigs, and Gwen Stefani have been compared with her vocal techniques.[52][53][54]

Performing and fashion[edit]

"The living legend bust out the sultry and aggressive choreography that influenced a whole generation of future pop stars (Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, and Usher all admit to idolizing Jackson for her style and originality)."

— Ria Nevada describing Jackson's influence on dance and choreography.[5]

Through her performances and choreography, Jackson has pioneered a variety of methods used by ensuing artists.[55][56] Veronica Chambers declared her to redefine the music video, citing numerous artists to use similar sets and dance routines.[57] Her concert tours have been regarded to create new standards for showmanship, via the usage of pyrotechnics, elaborate staging, and intricate choreography.[58] Of her influence on Shakira and Beyoncé, Denene Millner commended her to "single-handedly change the way a generation of female performers hit the stage," adding, "Before Jackson, little was expected of [teenage] girl singers except that they coo about love and heartbreak and look pretty in their dresses."[59] Fabien Brathwaite added, "Before Janet, women weren't dancing this hard or this fierce or this sexy."[4] Her abstract and inventive choreography has been considered a "measuring stick" for modern dance.[60][61] Universal Music observed synchronized dance routines to become "synonymous with Janet," while Telemundo noted artists such as LMFAO to perform "Janet Jackson-style" formations.[23][62] Jackson brought the headset microphone to prominence; often referred to as the "Janet Jackson microphone,"[63][64][65] and developed explicit performance themes; such as seducing a fan on stage.[66] Additionally, she was one of two artists to first use LCDs; becoming a standard in modern technology.[67]

The image transition of Miley Cyrus has been compared with Jackson's.[68]

Jackson has secured a position as a prominent fashion icon, with Phil Marder declaring her fashion statements to "often become the norm for teenage girls around the globe."[69] Her iconic ensembles include her Control-era attire, "Rhythm Nation" outfit, Velvet Rope period of crimson hair and piercings, and standard of midriff-baring wardrobe.[70][71] Upon her image transition, she has pioneered the "teen pop evolution"; taking authority of her career and progressing from a child star into a sultrier, adult image.[72] Emily Feimster stated:

In comparing Miley Cyrus' image transition to Jackson's, Priya Elan stated, "Miley, like Janet, was the beloved child star who played tic-tac-toe with America as Hannah Montana," observing her risqué performances to eradicate her former persona in a similar vein.[68] As a sex symbol, Jackson became known for her toned abdominal muscles and midriff-baring style, thought to become "standard operating procedure" within contemporary pop.[71] VH1 observed her image to be emulated by "just about every pop star," while The Harvard Crimson recalled, "Janet Jackson's sexy stomach captured the imagination of all races."[74][75]

Influenced by Jackson[edit]

Beyoncé cites Jackson as one of her main influences. Jackson has influenced her in how to reinvent her image and musical style.[76]
Lady Gaga has paid homage to Jackson in quite a few of her music videos.[77][78]
Robyn has said that Jackson's records have heavily influenced the music of her native Sweden.[79]

Legacy[edit]

"A number of artists have been tagged with the honorific “Queen of Pop” title over the years, but Jackson's longevity and body of work make it clear that she is worthy of it."

—Excerpt from "Janet Jackson: Still the queen" editorial by Joe Lawler.[10]

Various critics have bestowed Jackson as the "Queen of Pop,"[9][10][11][12] while others observed an ongoing debate for the title,[282] with Fabien Brathwaite calling her "the other Queen of Pop."[4] Of her cultural appeal, VH1 stated, "Miss Jackson became a larger than life icon who transcends the world of music -- she is a pop culture phenomenon."[2] Ken Berry titled her the "embodiment of a global superstar," citing her appeal to "transcend geographic, cultural, and generational boundaries."[283] MTV News added, "drop the name "Janet" anywhere in the world where there's access to an FM radio, and they'll know who you're talking about."[26]

Several analysts consider her to rival the success of her contemporaries,[284][285] while others observed her to become a greater influence.[24][286] In declaring her "one of the biggest and, in many ways, boldest female pop stars in the world," Neil McCormick of The Telegraph asserted Jackson as "the only serious rival to Madonna," while Entertainment Weekly placed them in an equal class of longevity.[284][287] Dutch publication Trouw cited both women as the most prominent female artists of their generation.[288] In profiling artists such as Justin Timberlake, author Sean Smith considered her to exceed the influence of Michael Jackson within modern pop.[286] Of the BBC UK documentary Janet Jackson – Taking Control, Howard Male concluded, "Janet's unprecedented crossover success changed the music industry just as much as Michael's did."[285]

Artists who have been appointed the potential "next Janet Jackson" or successor include Britney Spears,[289] Beyoncé,[290] Cheryl Cole,[291] Fergie,[292] and Rihanna.[293][294] Various critics have titled international artists in comparison, which include Samantha Fox as the "British Janet Jackson",[295] Daniela Mercury as the "Brazilian Janet Jackson",[296] BoA as the "Korean Janet Jackson",[297][298] Maya Vik as the "Norwegian Janet Jackson",[299] Alison Hinds as the "West Indian answer to Janet",[300] Lady Saw as the "Janet Jackson of Jamaica",[301] Vina Morales as the Philippines' "answer to Janet Jackson",[302] and Namie Amuro, Gina Hiraizumi, and Crystal Kay as the "Japanese Janet Jackson."[109][303][304] Artists who have titled themselves in reference to Jackson include Adam Levine ("reverse" or male Jackson),[38] Fischerspooner ("indie version" of Jackson),[305] Havana Brown ("the DJ-slash-Janet Jackson"), Kat Graham ("Baby Janet"), and Kanary Diamonds ("rapping Janet Jackson").[136][306][307]

Armin van Buuren became inspired to pursue music when hearing a remix of Jackson's "Control." [308]
BoA has been considered the "Korean Janet Jackson".[298]
Little Dragon vocalist Yukimi Nagano cites Jackson as her vocal inspiration.[49]

Notable artists who have been influenced or commented on Jackson include:

  • Adam Levine was influenced by Jackson's 1993 Rolling Stone cover for a photo editorial in Cosmopolitan UK, commenting, "That was my idea, a reverse Janet Jackson."[38] Levine referred to Jackson's music as "brilliant" and intended to duet with her with Maroon 5.[309][310]
  • Beyoncé stated, "I've learned so much from watching her over her career. She starts the trends and she taught me you have to reinvent yourself with every new album. She's still herself, but she always has a new thing, a new hair color, a new look, a new type of album."[76]
  • Britney Spears declared herself "majorly inspired by Janet and everything that she does," also saying, "I've always idolized her."[95][311] Of her image and musical traits, Bradley Stern of Idolator commented, "if anyone, Britney's style and sound is more similar to Janet."[289][312][313]
  • Bruno Mars considered Jackson "the pioneer in the music industry," saying, "we all looked up to her."[39]
  • Cheryl Cole is often compared to Jackson by critics. The Daily Express observed Cole to be "channeling her inner Janet Jackson" on her A Million Lights Tour, while Ruth Harrison noted, "she looks like Janet Jackson when she dons the red military jacket look."[314][315]
  • Christina Aguilera commented, "Janet never stops giving you what you want. She's an artist that will always be regarded as one of the best."[316] Aguilera also said, "I would watch specials on TV or videos of Janet.. and I would start crying because I was like 'I want that so bad!'"[317]
  • Actress Emmy Rossum cited Jackson to inspire her fitness routines while filming the Showtime series Shameless.[126]
  • Jackson inspired Jawed Karim to create the video-sharing website YouTube, after being unable to find a clip of a performance online.[318]
  • Jennifer Lopez declared Jackson her inspiration to enter the entertainment industry. She later commented, "I can also never forget the magnificent Janet Jackson as she is a big inspiration for all my dance and music videos."[146][319]
  • Folk singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell revealed Jackson's music to break her prejudice of mainstream pop radio.[320]
  • Justin Timberlake was inspired to become a recording artist and performer upon attending Jackson's Rhythm Nation Tour.[321] During the release of FutureSex/LoveSounds, he commented, "Janet is a beautiful person, whom I've admired, respected and loved for years."[322]
  • Kylie Minogue sampled Jackson's vocals in the song "Too Much of a Good Thing."[187] Of her Aphrodite World Tour, she stated, "I am in love with my stage. I could actually kiss it... And I've never had such a big quick-change area. I'm like 'Who do you think I am? Janet Jackson?'"[323]
  • Lady Gaga referred to her as "an unbelievable legend, and such a talent, somebody that I really, really look up to."[188] She has referenced Jackson in several of her music videos, including the music videos for her songs "Alejandro," "The Edge of Glory," and "Applause".[77][78][324]
  • Korean singer Lee Hyori declared Jackson her "number one idol," and wears a shirt with Jackson's image while recording.[42][190]
  • Swedish electronic band Little Dragon cited Jackson's ballads to influence their fourth studio album,
    Nabuma Rubberband.[198] Vocalist Yukimi Nagano also stated, "I sing in this really soft, airy, breathy way – that's probably as a result of listening to Janet Jackson."[49]
  • Mariah Carey stated, "I think of Janet as an inspiration," also saying, "Janet Jackson's Control is one of the most classic albums, and also I think that she took videos to another level as a female."[325][326]
  • Dancers Mandy Jiroux and Ashlee Nino revealed Miley Cyrus to choreograph her own dance routines to Jackson's music during The Best of Both Worlds Tour.[327] Cyrus also performed a routine to Jackson's single "Feedback" for the debut of her YouTube series.[328]
  • Patrick Carney of alternative rock duo The Black Keys cited Jackson to inspire their eighth album, Turn Blue. Carney commented, "that's the most punk rock thing you can do: Dig into the nonsingles on a Janet Jackson album."[47]
  • Pharrell Williams praised Jackson's "youthful demeanor and openness to try new things," adding, "Janet is very, very receptive and very smart."[329]
  • Rihanna declared Jackson among the first female artists she felt relation to, saying, "She was so vibrant, she had so much energy. She still has power. I've seen her on stage, and she can stand there for 20 minutes and have the whole arena scream at her. You have to love Janet."[330]
  • Harley Alexander-Sule of British duo Rizzle Kicks observed provactive acts within performances to often be linked to Jackson, explaining, "it's been done before — since the Janet Jackson era."[331]
  • While recording with Swedish singer Robyn, producer Jimmy Jam stated, "Robyn talks all the time about the influence Janet Jackson records had on everybody there [in Sweden], sonically and style-wise. A lot of the music coming from Europe definitely embraced a lot of that sound and the sonic textures."[79]
  • Benjamin Curtis of School of Seven Bells was inspired by the parallel he observed between the concept of the post-punk genre and Jackson's music, which was "making every idea so massive and count so much for the song."[245]
  • Of Jackson's influence on her Stars Dance Tour, Selena Gomez commented, "She looks stunning because it's all about performing, so I kinda want to get more into that again."[332]
  • Sleigh Bells declared Jackson a "huge inspiration" for their third album, Bitter Rivals.[333] Vocalist Alexis Krauss cited "Rhythm Nation" as "wildly creative and diverse, and yet it's still pop music.. I was interested in writing hooks and writing songs that had that strangeness about them, but that were also very melodic and hopefully very catchy."[48]
  • Dutch EDM producer Dennis Waakop Reijers, known for his collaborations with Tiësto, revealed Jackson to be his first single purchase.[334] Dutch trance producer Armin van Buuren was inspired to become a musician upon hearing a remix of Jackson's single "Control".[308]

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