Blast From The Past: Janet Jackson & Paula Abdul

Twenty-three years ago a fresh faced up and coming dance diva with a famous last name met another up and coming dance diva and together they made history.

Janet Jackson & Paula Abdul

In 1986 Janet Jackson was still trying to overcome the large shadow her last name and older brother, Michael, had cast on her. The singer had just recorded her third solo album, Control, and set out to create an image and style all her own.

In comes Paula Abdul who was an aspiring singer and dancer in her own right. Paula was also a Laker Girl and the teams head choreographer. The two came together and the rest as they say is history. Paula choreographed several of Janet’s videos from the Control LP, including my favorite, Control.

Click the image above to see a larger view of Paula teaching Janet some of the moves that made her famous- and check out some of Paula and Janet’s best work below in Janet’s now iconic Control video.

Btw, Janet lamented years after this video was made that she was at her “heaviest” when it was shot. Clearly she is bigger than she was in the videos for Nasty, What Have You Done For Me Lately and Let’s Wait A While. I however think this video clearly shows that even in her chubby state, Janet could still out dance most of the other dance divas in her day and today as well.




    N she is back with Jimmy n Terry n also working on ” Why did I get married too?” Due april 2, 2010 in theaters.

  2. My 80s, my 80s, my 80s, where have you gone? As Stevie Wonder sang, “I wish those days could/come back once more/why did those days end/boy I love them so”. It was the beginning of the video revolution, with `Video Soul`, on BET with hosts Donnie Simpson and the luscious Sherry Carter and MTV. It was the beginning of a perfect union between music and video.

    Yeah, Janet definitely did come into her own with the `Control` album. With Paula by her side, when it came to the chereography, they were a perfect match. And to this day Paula, like Janet, is still so fine and sexy. I don`t care how the HYPOCRITICAL media portrays and demonizes her. Anyway, the `Control` album definitely put Janet on the map and the video of the same name is indeed iconic. My fav. video from the album is “Pleasure Principle”.

    In her jeans, and a t-shirt, Janet THREW DOWN!!!! Yes, she certainly was the dancin` queen of her day and could, indeed, show todays` artists a thing or two. Videos back in the day, in my opinion, were more creative and exciting. Janet has a few iconic vids in my opinion that will still clobber todays` vids by these current artists. How about, “What Have You Done For Me Lately”, “Alright”, “That`s The Way Love Goes”, “Nasty”, “Rhythm Nation”? During this era Janet was beginning to invent her own style, and what a style it is.

    In my humble opinion, todays` vids still don`t measure up. Just look at Michaels` vids as well. I`ll overlook “Thriller” for now because that`s too easy. But take a look at “Beat It” for example. That vid is ICONIC with its` storyline and awesome chereography. For proof of this, someone posted the vid on `YouTube` just last year and it has already garnered more than 21mil views. Now folks we are talking about a vid that was done 26 years ago. I`ll still put “Beat It” up against anything that`s out today.

    Then you have “Billie Jean” in which Michael does some slick dancin`. His “The Way You Make Me Feel” vid with the beautiful and sexy Tatianna Thumbtzen as his love interest. A legendary vid that was well shot. And don`t even get me started on his “Smooth Criminal” vid. from which I took my username. A 1930s club theme that is off the charts. The chereography is second to none, and who can forget that `lean` in the vid? And just think, Michael is now 50 years of age and can still sell out 50 shows in 4 hrs as he just did in London with no problem. That`s futher proof that to this day he`s still the biggest artist in the world.

    Like Janet, I believe that even today, Michael can show todays` artists a thing or two about dancin`. Afterall, he`s a “Dancin Machine”. True, at 50, he may have lost a step but it`s a step no one else has ever had. His whirlwind like spins may lack some of the speed they once had, but I bet you could probably still feel a breeze or two. LOL!!! Sorry to get a little off subject. Afterall, this is a Janet post. However, I was just giving her and Michael their just props. Anyway, I luv you Janet.

    Michael Jackson & The Golden 80s 4 ever!!!

    P.S. Sorry for posting an essay. LOL. But it`s somethin` `bout The 80s. :koolaid: :bowdown:

  3. And it’s sad to say that a lot of Ciara fans seriously want to give Ciara the crown for Queen of dancing.


    Janet is toooooooooooo bad! I love her!

  4. Heavey and STILL doing it! My brother thinks she is so sexy heavy! Yes I do recall Paula choreographing a lot of her videos. There were a great team! I’d love to see her perform those songs again! I’d be acting like the crazed fan I am! :bowdown:

  5. Wow that video brings back alot of memories. Thanks Stephanie that feel good music right there :bowdown:

  6. LOVE HER … Her appearances on shows like American Bandstand and Soul Train in those days were off the chain. Janet is that chick, for real. I loved Paula too … I play her greatest hits every now and then, and I’m amazed by how good some of her singles were.

  7. Also, didn’t Paula do the steps for the Jacksons’ Victory Tour?

  8. The beginning of this video used to be my favorite part when I was a child. Janet was my idol!

  9. Real Dancers with Real Talent!!!! I sooo miss those days 🙁

  10. There is ‘real’ talent these days!!!
    And please define ‘real’, am getting tired of this word being used loosely.

  11. I co-sign Rizza. Janet was great… in her day. The new girls have expanded the moves that Janet/Paula created. I predict that by 2025 dancers will be flying — with no strings attached. 🙂

  12. But I don’t really see these new girls, save for Ciara or even Lil Mama, who can actually dance, doing anything of note. They just shake and throw their weaves around. I saw Janet back in October and I can’t think of any new girl who dances like that with that kind of endurance. It might not be “her day” since pop is a young person’s game, but when she’s on she’s still got the goods. If I tried to dance for two and half hours like she did at the show, I’d fall out, ha ha.

  13. Thisisme is not lying
    Nobody really knows how to dance now a day back then, Jay was doing the damn thing, making you lose weight trying to Imitate her, Now a day people do something catchy enough to have youngsters, trying to redo and that is a sad sad day,Beside Ciara Who can really move when she gets down to it..The rest are irrelevant and make me and a lot of people crack down when they call themselves “Dancing”

    Big Ups to Jay and Paula, I want the old Jay to bring it bring it Back

  14. Janet looks hot from head to toe and I love this video. :brownsista:

    I am loving her hair most of all….she looks so cute.

  15. People should never ever in a million years put Ciara, Lil Mama in the same category as Ms. Jackson. That is the biggest insult. These girls don’t have the natural talent nor the dance moves to compete with Janet. Remember, Janet and Michael Scream Video. They were insync, and Janet proved that she was just as bad as MJJ, and to say that these little girls can dance as well as Janet, is saying that they can dance as well or close to MJJ, and that is an insult.

    These little singers are good for right now, but Superstars they are not.

    I’m not taking away from their fame, just keeping it real. Janet practice her moves for hours at a time, to perfection, almost like her perfectionist brother, Lil Mama, Ciara I seriously doubt put that much effort into their craft.

  16. umm although janet is bad i would have to disagree and say her best dancing was in “the pleasure principle” video. she KILLED IT!! :bowdown: nobody can touch that video. the chik is B-A-D BAD!!!

  17. Thanks for the throw-back.


    When I was in Junior High, me and some friends would spend phys. ed. trying to recreate her routines from Rhythm Nation. LOL. We were HORRIBLE, but she was the shiz. A LEGEND. Awesome.

  18. Janet is the real deal, she may not sell now how she use to but her #’s still put artist to shame to this day. I can listen to her albums all day til this day and majority of her albums are hot. I recommend getting all of her earlier work!

    Janet Jackson
    Dream Street
    Rhythm Nation
    The Velvet Rope
    All For You
    Damita Jo
    2.0. Y.O.

  19. Dang, watching these throwbacks just further proves how WACK the industry is now. If I had only known that at 6yrs old I was legends in the making :bowdown:

    I’m sorry, no out dances like MJ or Janet now. I mean Chris was stealing mike’s move but I don’t know if he can make a comeback just yet. And Ciara, she can dance and she’s smooth with it but I’m sure there are plenty of exotic dancers who can do the same moves. I’m just saying 😆 :lol2:

  20. Cris and Usher can only imitate MJJ moves but they cannot perform identical or near the same as MJJ. It can’t be done. Remember, MJJ perfected James Brown. And also, MJJ is a trained dancer. The man is Bad. And people want to clown MJJ on his “feminity” ways, but this is the same man, that basically turned Naomi Campbell out in , In The Closet video. Now, you know even if that was a video, Naomi had to be “moved” by his dance skills. And let’s not get started on Remember The Time video. MJJ put it down. Can’t nobody dance with a female like MJJ.

  21. @Drea
    Pleasure Principle IS my fav Janet video period. If I had to come up with a top 10 video of all time list, then it would be right up there w/ MJ’s Thriller & Remember the Time.

  22. Wait a minute. Was Janet about to climb into a Suzuki Sidekick? Anyone remembers when that was THE ride, even though it failed those rollover test? LMAO. We didn’t care. It just made life more exciting.

  23. I still listen to Janet all the time and well as a lot of artists from the 80’s. She just makes you feel good listening to her music. Whether she is “big” or “skinny”, I truly enjoy watching her perform and bumping her music!!!!Accomplished Sista!! :brownsista: :bowdown:

  24. @ Smooth Criminal :iagree:
    It’s rare nowadays to find an American person talking about Michael and Janet in a positive way. People have a short memory when it comes to them. Always breaking them down and forget about all the things they brought in the industry. I always thought that Michael was the ultimate superstar (no I’m not a fan but I’m a fan of performances in general. I like to see artists giving all of them when they’re on stage) and when I see Michael on stage I don’t see who nowadays has topped that. I’m pretty sure the fact his shows are sold out has irritated a lot of people and especially the media.
    I don’t really remember the 80s because I was born in the 80s but I wonder if in 25-26 years from now the actual generation will talk about Beyonce, Ciara, Rihanna the way we do about Michael, Janet, Whitney, Mariah…
    @ topic: I didn’t know this video. I know the 90s Janet better but it’s cool.

  25. :thumbsup: I remember this OMG I was 14 Years Old & felt in Luv with Janet´ :bowdown:

  26. Louliu: No they won’ t 😆

    I miss Janet 🙁 i love her body and the way she moves, she was my first and last girl crush :bowdown: wITH HER BAD SELF, SHE NEEDS TO GET BACK IN THAT state of mind where she felt sexy, free, talented and on top of the world, and she’ ll tear it down again

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