"Nasty" is the second single from Janet's third album "Control." The single was released on April 15, 1986 in the United States and on May 27, 1986 in the United Kingdom.

"Nasty" was written by Janet, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis (who also produced the song). It was recorded in September of 1985 at Flyte Tyme Studios in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Song BackgroundEdit

The song was based on Janet's autobiographical account of confronting abusive men who tried to force their hand on her.  According to "Rolling Stone" magazine, Janet stated:

"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."

Music VideoEdit

The video was directed by Mary Lambert and choreographed by Paula Abdul (who also appeared in the video as one of Janet's friends).

Song AccoladesEdit

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 (Flanders) 4
Canadian Singles Chart 8
Dutch Top 40 5
French Singles Chart 99
German Singles Chart 9
Italian Singles Chart 14
Irish Singles Chart 20
New Zealand Singles Chart 8
Swiss Singles Chart 8
UK Singles Chart 19
US Billboard Hot 100 3
US Billboard Hot Black Singles 1
US Billboard Hot Dance Music/ Club Play 2

End of year chartsEdit

End of year chart (1986) Position
US Billboard Hot 100 58


The song was certified Gold by the RIAA.