1990: ‘Rhythm Nation 1814’ by Janet Jackson





Janet Jackson’s fourth album was different than anything the pop and R&B singer had ever released before. Taking inspiration from the current events and issues unfolding before her, Jackson packed her record with social commentary about racism, gun violence, sexuality, and poverty in addition to the romantic ballads fans and producers expected from her. As a result, seven of the singles from “Rhythm Nation” reached the ranks of the top five in the Billboard Hot 100 chart between 1989 and 1991.

You may also like: Controversial songs from the year you were born

You may also like: 30 musicians with legendarily long careers