Nasty US

CD single cover art.

"Nasty" is the second single from Janet Jackson's 1986 album, Control. Released on April 15, 1986, the single peaked at number three on Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, and remains one of Jackson's signature songs. The line "My first name ain't baby, it's Janet – Miss Jackson if you're nasty" is a well-known catchphrase and has frequently been used in pop culture in various forms.

The song won for Favorite Soul/R&B Single at the 1987 American Music Awards. It ranked number 30 on VH1's 100 Best Songs of the Past 25 Years, number 45 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 80s, and number 79 on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Pop Songs. Pop singer Britney Spears covered "Nasty", along with "Black Cat" during her ...Baby One More Time Tour and has paid homage to the song and video multiple times.


The song was Jackson's autobiographical account of confronting abusive men who tried to force their hand on her. As she stated in an interview with Rolling Stone, "The danger hit home when a couple of guys started stalking me on the street. They were emotionally abusive. Sexually threatening. Instead of running to Jimmy or Terry for protection, I took a stand. I backed them down. That's how songs like 'Nasty' and 'What Have You Done for Me Lately' were born, out of a sense of self-defense. Control meant not only taking care of myself but living in a much less protected world. And doing that meant growing a tough skin. Getting attitude."

In August 1999, Missy Elliott revealed she was working with Jackson on an updated remix for the song; its working title was "Nasty Girl 2000". The following year, Elliott's close friend Aaliyah was added to the track, however due to undisclosed reasons the record was never released.

Music videoEdit

The music video was directed by Mary Lambert and choreography was handled by Paula Abdul.

Live performancesEdit


Jackson performing "Nasty" live on The Velvet Rope Tour in 1998.

Jackson has performed the song on all of her tours, Rhythm Nation 1814 Tour, janet. Tour, The Velvet Rope Tour, All for You Tour, Rock Witchu Tour and Number Ones: Up Close and Personal. She has also performed it on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, American Idol 2010 finale, and the Billboard Music Awards.

Track listingsEdit

U.S., UK, and European 7" single
A. "Nasty" (Edit of Remix) – 3:40
B. "You'll Never Find (A Love Like Mine)" – 4:08
U.S. and European 12" single
Australian limited edition 12" single
A1. "Nasty" (Extended) – 6:00
B1. "Nasty" (Instrumental) – 4:00
B2. "Nasty" (A Cappella) – 2:55
U.S. and European 12" single – Cool Summer Mix Parts I and II
A. "Nasty" (Cool Summer Mix Part I) – 7:57
B. "Nasty" (Cool Summer Mix Part II) – 10:09
UK 12" single
A1. "Nasty" (Extended) – 6:00
B1. "Nasty" (Instrumental) – 4:00

Official versions/remixesEdit

  • Album Version – 4:03
  • A Cappella – 2:55
  • Cool Summer Mix Part I – 7:57
  • Cool Summer Mix Part II – 10:09
  • Edit of Remix – 3:40
  • Extended – 6:00
  • Instrumental – 4:00


Organization Country Accolade Year Source
VH1 United States 100 Greatest Songs of the Past 25 Years 2003
VH1 United States 100 Greatest Songs of the 80s 2006
Rolling Stone United States 100 Greatest Pop Songs


Chart (1986) Peak
Australian Kent Music Report 17
Austrian Singles Chart 21
Belgian Singles Chart 4
Canadian Singles Chart 8
Dutch Top 40 5
French Singles Chart 99
German Singles Chart 9
Irish Singles Chart 20
New Zealand Singles Chart 8
Swiss Singles Chart 8
UK Singles Chart 19
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 3
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs 2

End-of-year chartsEdit

End of year chart (1986) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 58
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