What Have You Done For Me Lately

“Used to be a time when you would pamper me. Used to brag about it all the time…”

Used to be a time that Janet Jackson was among the lesser-known of the Jackson clan. In the late 70s, she amused us as Penny on Good Times before heading over to join the cast of Diff’rent Strokes in 1981. And sure, she’d done a little singing here and there, but her first two albums didn’t do too much at all.

Then came January 13, 1986.

A month before her third album Control dropped, a new tune hit the radio. Produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, “What Have You Done For Me Lately” showed us a Janet that was feisty, in-your-face, and capable of tearing up a dance floor. In short, all of a sudden we had a new talent on our hands.

The song itself was as catchy as they come. The video? Yeah, a little low budget, but oh so 80s… with folks bopping around on a set that looked straight out of Charles in Charge. And yes, that’s the video’s choreographer Paula Adbul sitting at the table with Janet at the beginning.

When all was said and done “What Have You Done For Me Lately” spent 21 weeks on the Billboard chart, peaking at #4 in May of 1986… but it was just the beginning. Jam and Lewis had found their new muse (or vice versa), and we were about to get a whole lot more kick-ass Janet. But that’s a story for another time.

“This is wild. I swear…”

We ♥ What Have You Done For Me Lately.

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~ by weheart80s on July 6, 2011.

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