WAKE IT UP!
On this day in 1997…Janet Jackson released her ‘The Velvet Rope’ album!
Upon experiencing an emotional breakdown, Jackson began facing a long-term case of depression. She in turn developed her new record as a concept album, using introspection as its theme. Its title is a metaphor for emotional boundaries, as well as an allusion to an individual’s need to feel special. Its lyrics address subject matter such as depression, self-worth, social networking, and domestic violence. It also encompasses themes of sexuality, including BDSM, sexual orientation and same-sex relationships. Due to its sexually explicit content, the album reinforced Jackson’s public image as a sex symbol and as one of the most erotic vocalists of the 1990s. Its incorporation of social issues regarding sexual orientation and combating homophobia also established her reputation as a gay icon and received the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Music.
The album peaked within the top five positions of the majority of the global record charts it entered. In the United States, it became Jackson’s fourth consecutive album to top the Billboard 200. Certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), it has sold over three million copies in the US according to Nielsen SoundScan and an estimated ten million copies worldwide. Of the six singles released from the project, “Got ’til It’s Gone” won the 1998 Grammy Award for Best Music Video, “Together Again” became one of the best-selling singles worldwide and “I Get Lonely” became Jackson’s 18th consecutive top ten hit, making her the only female artist in the history of the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart to achieve that feat. The Velvet Rope Tour, in support of the album, drew critical acclaim for its theatricality, as well as controversy for its depictions of domestic violence and bondage.