"One of the key songs in her early career is 'Let's Wait Awhile' where she's saying let's not have sex, let's be intimate, but let's not have sex," Touré said. "Which is a very divergent message in pop music at that time, at any time — for a young sexy woman to be saying let's not have sex."
From 1989 through 1993 Jackson maintained her squeaky-clean image as she solidified her stardom with hits like "Escapade," the politically conscious "Rhythm Nation" and songs like "That's The Way Love Goes," earning her place alongside the legendary Aretha Franklin for the most gold singles produced by a female solo singer.
In 1995, she and brother Michael reached the familiar No. 1 spot together with their hit "Scream."
But many say Jackson's seventh album, the triple-platinum Velvet Rope, was the moment her persona took a sexually dark turn. She was recovering from a difficult divorce, depression and battling her innermost demons.
"How close am I to loving myself?" she said in a 1998 interview. "I'm still a ways away. But I'm gettin' there. But I'm a ways away."
But lately the singer has picked herself up and found love with artist/producer Jermaine Dupri, and there is optimism that the release of her new album, Damita Jo, will lead Jackson back to her comfort zone, at the top of the pop music world.