Damita Jo is the eighth studio album by American recording artist Janet Jackson. It was released on March 30, 2004, by Virgin Records. The album takes its title from Jackson’s middle name. Its music incorporates rock, electro, house, and hip hop styles, in addition to dance-pop and R&B. Its concept is based on Jackson’s alternate personalities; exploring themes involving intimacy, monogamy, love, and dance. Its production is derived from producers including Dallas Austin, Cathy Dennis, Scott Storch, BAG & Arnthor, Rich Harrison, Télépopmusik, Just Blaze, and Kanye West; in addition to Jackson and Jam & Lewis.
Recorded over eighteen months, it was the longest Jackson spent on a project. Jackson sought to find producers who identified with her emotions, intending “hard-hitting dance music”. Producers declared it “a really sexy record” which was bold, fun, and positive. Multiple personae portrayed include the obstinate “Damita Jo” and lascivious “Strawberry”. Jackson stated they were “another way to express and expose a deeper part of me,” comparing her writing process to that of a novelist; inventing characters with independent personalities. Jackson claimed the aforementioned characters “absolutely” live inside of her, stating it “feels wonderful” to release them.
The album received generally favorable reviews. Jackson replied to critics focusing on the album’s suggestive content and Super Bowl incident in place of the music itself, stating she was “fascinated” by these interpretations, expressing concern for society’s need to often place others within a specific sexual category.
It garnered Jackson’s second highest-first week sales in the US, and was certified platinum. Damita Jo sold over three million copies worldwide. It received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Contemporary R&B Album.
Jackson was awarded several career accolades throughout its promotion. The album spawned three commercial singles: the rock-fused “Just a Little While”, classic R&B ballad “I Want You”, and electropop and funk influenced “All Nite (Don’t Stop)”.
Damita Jo (album). (2017, April 6)