Janet Jackson is one of the hardest working singers of her generation, and still considered one of the best performers in the entertainment industry. Her upcoming Together Again World Tour kicks off in April.
All the touring, music releases, and acting gigs have paid off — Ms. Jackson has an estimated net worth of $180 million.
A Family of Legends
Born on May 16, 1966, in Gary, Indiana, Jackson is the youngest of ten children. The success of the Jackson 5, her brothers’ boy band (with Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael), led to the record deal for the group with Motown in March 1969. With this, the family relocated to Los Angeles.
The Jackson 5 was given its own variety TV show, “The Jacksons,” in 1976, and Janet would star alongside her siblings. Just like her brothers, Janet was managed by her father, Joseph Jackson, who helped position her in other roles in the sitcoms “Good Times” (1977) and “A New Kind of Family” (1979-1980).
The success of her acting career motivated Joseph to push his daughter as a recording artist like her brother Michael, whose solo career was skyrocketing. Financing the recording of Janet’s first demo, Joseph arranged a recording contract for her with A&M Records in 1982.
Superstar in her Own Right
Janet’s wealth is due to a string of well-timed, executed projects that took her solo career to new heights, some might say, rivaling Michael Jackson himself.
Janet released four studio albums in the ’80s, the first two being “Janet Jackson” (1982) and “Dream Street” (1984). However, it was not until her third and fourth albums, “Control” (1986) and “Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814” (1989), that Janet really took off globally.
“Rhythm Nation 1814” peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and was certified platinum six times by the RIAA, meaning album sales in excess of 6 million copies.
Her following tour, Rhythm Nation World Tour, in 1990 also broke ground, setting a record for being the fastest sell-out of Japan’s Tokyo Dome, AP reported.
In March 1991, Janet signed a $32 million deal with Virgin Records, which at the time was the most significant amount paid for an artist. Her historic signing was then only second to brother Michael’s renegotiation with Sony Music, whose following contract was valued at $60 million, The Los Angeles Times reported.
Janet’s first album under Virgin, “Janet” (1993), debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and had five No. 1 singles, including the Grammy-winning single “That’s the Way Love Goes.”
That same year, she portrayed the character Justice in the John Singleton Black classic film “Poetic Justice” (1993), with Tupac Shakur co-starring as her love interest. The acclaimed low-budget movie made nearly $28 million at the box office.
In 1996, she signed a more extensive deal with Virgin Records that was worth an estimated $80 million, The Associated Press and L.A. Times reported, surpassing Michael.
Her new deal secured that Janet received a $35 million signing advance and guaranteed advance of about $5 million for each album, with a 24 percent royalty on the retail price of each copy sold.
Her albums “The Velvet Rope” (1997); “All for You” (2001); “Damita Jo” (2004) were all top charters and commercially successful. However, in 2004 Janet experienced career derailment after at the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show with Justin Timberlake, who infamously and accidentally exposed her breast during a joint performance.
The nipple flash during halftime effectively blackballed her throughout the 2000s.
Forbes reported in its 2007 countdown of the richest women in entertainment Janet made it to the No. 7 spot. While her then-latest album, “20 Y.O.” (2006), did not get make the Billboard charts, Forbes noted that her tours were a “substantial cash cow.”
In 2012, Janet married Qatari businessman Wissam Al Mana, a retail entrepreneur and executive director of the Al Mana Retail Group, and although she is not a billionaire like him, the now-divorced couple welcomed a son in 2017, the same year they divorced.
Real Estate Holdings
Janet sold her Central Park, Manhattan, condo for $8.8 million in 2022 — banking a $6 million profit. She purchased the NYC condo in 1998 for $2.8 million, The Wall Street Journal reported.