"Rhythm Nation" is the second single from Janet's fourth album "Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814." The single was released on October 23, 1989 in the United Kingdom and on October 24, 1989 in the United States.

"Rhythm Nation" was recorded in January of 1989 at Flyte Time Studios in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was written by Janet, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis (who also produced the song). The song samples Sly and the Family Stone's 1969 song "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)."

Music VideoEdit

The music video was directed in August of 1989 by Dominic Sena. The video was famous for its black & white, military-inspired dance theme taking place in an abandoned factory.


The music video won "Best Choreography" (shared by Janet and choreographer Anthony Thomas) and was nominated for "Best Dance Video" at the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards where Janet also received the MTV Video Vanguard Award.


Billboard Music Awards

  • 1990: Director's Award (Black/Rap) for "Rhythm Nation"
  • 1990: Billboard/Tanqueray Sterling Music Video Award for Artistic Achievement for "Rhythm Nation"

BMI Pop Awards

  • 1990: "Rhythm Nation"

MTV Video Music Awards

  • 1990: Best Choreography in a Video for "Rhythm Nation"

Soul Train Awards

  • 1990: Best R&B/Urban Contemporary Music Video for "Rhythm Nation"


Chart (1989/1990) Peak
Australian Singles Chart 56
Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders) 24
Canadian Singles Chart 6
Dutch Top 40 11
German Singles Chart 83
Italian Singles Chart 14
Irish Singles Chart 19
New Zealand Singles Chart 17
Swiss Singles Chart 22
UK Singles Chart 23
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 2
U.S. Billboard Hot Black Singles 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play 1