Janet Jackson marks a milestone today (16 May 2016) as the iconic singer celebrates her 50th birthday. Over the last four decades, the Rhythm Nation hitmaker has become the epitome of a superstar with her unmatched dancing skills and ability to churn out consecutive chart hits. Not to mention the fact she is the darling of a musical institution, the Jackson family.

Although she could have easily lived in the shadow of her famous brother, the late Michael Jackson, Janet managed to command the spotlight in her own right. The All For You hitmaker released her self-titled debut album in 1982 and the rest is history.

There is certainly a unique approach to Janet's artistry – not many female artists are able to perfect a sexy image while being strong and also somehow vulnerable.

Addressing the key to her art in 2013 on the 20th anniversary of her career-changing album, janet, the singer told Billboard: "Like I said before, I write about my experiences or things that touch me deeply. I was really beginning to get in tune with my sexual self. This is what I wanted to express so I did. The decision to move forward in an artistic way is mine."

With Janet reportedly pregnant with her first child, 50 marks an exciting new chapter for the singer. In celebration of Janet's momentous 50th, IBTimes UK reflects on her career in numbers.

Janet Jackson birthday
Janet Jackson celebrates her 50th birthday today (16 May 2016) REUTERS/Lucas Jackson