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Updated by DJ Rob on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for Janet Jackson’s 25 Most Iconic Songs - The 25 Top Reasons She’s Receiving The Billboard Icon Award
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Janet Jackson’s 25 Most Iconic Songs - The 25 Top Reasons She’s Receiving The Billboard Icon Award

On Sunday, May 20, Janet Jackson, who turned 52 this past Wednesday, will be honored with the Billboard Icon award at the publication’s annual awards ceremony in Las Vegas.

To commemorate Sunday’s occasion, djrobblog came up with a ranking of Jackson’s 25 most important songs, that is, the ones that were the most important to her career and which we feel contributed the most to her iconic status.

To be clear, this is not a ranking of her “best” songs because, well, a list like that is too subjective, and limiting it to 25 would be a disservice to someone who’s made dozens upon dozens of great hits.

Instead, I thought it would be more appropriate to the occasion (and really unique) to pick the 25 songs over her nearly four-decade career that were most instrumental in making her a Billboard Icon.

So to all those Janet fans out there, take a scroll through this djroblist and enjoy!

Here are the most important hits of Janet’s career, ranked in countdown fashion from #25 to #1, with narratives explaining each entry.


25. Tied: “Someday Is Tonight” and “State Of The World” (both 1989)

“Someday Is Tonight” was actually slated to be the 8th single from Jackson’s fourth album Rhythm Nation 1814, with some pop radio stations even promoting it as such in early 1991. But the first Gulf War in 1991 sparked radio interest in the socially conscious song “State Of The World,” which prompted A&M to issue that one as a non-commercially available, radio-only single.

That radio-only status made “World” ineligible to chart, preventing it from becoming the 8th top-five hit from ‘RN1814.’ But more importantly, it relegated “Someday Is Tonight” to eternal album-cut status as the momentum behind ‘RN14’ finally waned. Just as “State Of The World” was significant to Janet’s career because of its socially conscious themes, “Someday Is Tonight,” a polar opposite song from the same album, was significant because it marked Janet’s transition into womanhood with lyrics about finally giving into her sexual desires.

  • DJ Rob


    Hi, I'm DJ Rob, owner and author of the music blogsite I live in Chicago, IL and have been doing the blogsite since January 2015. It features articles about music news, history and trivia - both old and new. The features I enjoy doing the most are my djroblists. I've done dozens of lists ranking everything from blue-eyed soul singers to Prince's greatest songs. I only recently started converting them to listly to increase interaction with my readers. Take some time to enjoy them and let me know what you think! And check out when you can!

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