21 Vintage Photos of Janet Jackson, a Born Superstar

In the revealing new Janet Jackson documentary Janet, the first part of which aired yesterday on A&E and Lifetime, the pop superstar lends insight into her life growing up in the world’s most famous family, with siblings joining her on the record. Filmed over a five-year period, the typically private singer reflects on her journey from child stardom as the younger sister of the Jackson 5 to the establishment of her own meteoric solo career, during which time she bristled against her association with the Jacksons.

The four-part docuseries delves into the racism that the Jacksons faced in white neighborhoods, the changing relationship between the Jackson siblings as Michael shot to unreachable levels of fame, and doesn’t shy away from depicting the troubled relationship Jackson had with her husband James DeBarge, who struggled with drug dependency.

A musical trailblazer with her whispery vocal style, she set the gold-standard for choreography, and broke taboos around sex and race. Quickly becoming a style icon, she popularized hairstyles and inspired copycats of her signature key earrings. These archival photographs capture some of her most memorable looks and moments in her youth.

Part 2 of Janet airs tonight at 8 p.m.

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