Janet Jackson's Evolution From Cute Child Star to Full-Fledged Music Icon

Janet Jackson is one of the most influential entertainers the music industry has ever known, paving the way for younger icons like Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Britney Spears. But her reign began when she was just a young child, performing at the MGM Casino on the Las Vegas strip with her famous siblings and later starring in TV shows like "Good Times," "Diff'rent Strokes," and "Fame."

After signing a deal with A&M Records in 1982, the then-budding pop star was well on her way to cementing her icon status. Hit singles like "Nasty," "Rhythm Nation," and "That's the Way Love Goes" helped Jackson become one of the bestselling artists of all time, selling over 100 million copies worldwide. Now, 40 years later, Jackson is opening up about her life and career like never before in the long-awaited "Janet Jackson" documentary, which premiered simultaneously on Lifetime and A&E on Jan. 28 and 29.

In the two-night event, the notoriously private star addressed those long-standing rumors of a secret baby with ex-husband James DeBarge, the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show controversy, feeling guilty by association after child-molestation allegations against late brother Michael Jackson, and much more. So it's only fitting that we take a look back at the 55-year-old trailblazing icon's remarkable evolution throughout the decades.