Control is the third studio album by American recording artist Janet Jackson, released on February 4, 1986 by A&M Records. Her collaborations with the songwriters and record producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis resulted in an unconventional sound: a fusion of dance-pop, rhythm and blues, funk, disco, rap vocals, and synthesized percussion that established Jackson, Jam and Lewis as the leading innovators among pop and contemporary R&B. It enabled Jackson to transition into the popular music market, becoming one of the foremost albums of the 1980s and contemporary music.
Containing autobiographical themes, a majority of the album's lyrics came as the result of a series of changes in her life: a recent annulment of her marriage to the singer James DeBarge, severing her business affairs from her father and manager Joseph and the rest of the Jackson family, hiring the A&M executive John McClain as her new management, and her subsequent introduction to Jam and Lewis. The album has been praised by critics as both an artistic feat and as a personal testament of self-actualization.
Control is widely regarded as the breakthrough album of Jackson's career. It became her first album to top the Billboard 200 and five of its commercial singles—"What Have You Done for Me Lately", "Nasty", "Control", "When I Think of You", and "Let's Wait Awhile"—peaked within the top five of the Billboard Hot 100. Music videos created to promote the singles showcased her dancing ability and became a catalyst for MTV's evolving demographics. The album went on to receive several accolades, including a nomination for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and winning Producer of the Year, Non-Classical for Jam and Lewis in 1987. It is listed by the National Association of Recording Merchandisers and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 200 Definitive Albums of All Time. It has been certified fivefold platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and has sold more than fourteen million copies worldwide.
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