It was no surprise how Janet Jackson took the stage like she owned it while performing at last night’s Billboard Music Awards. Hitting the stage with a sparkling gold sweatshirt, paired with a shiny gold thigh-high shoe, Janet shone like a star that she is while performing her 1986 hit-track Nasty. Not only was this performance, her first television performance in nine years; she also became the first black woman ever to receive the Billboard Icon Award.

Known as an American singer, songwriter, dancer and actress, Janet was born on 16 May 1966 in Gary Indiana. She first appeared on stage in April 1974 and has continued to be one of music’s leading voices since the 80’s. While receiving her award, Janet used the opportunity to speak on abuse, female trailblazers in the music industry and her stance on the ‘me too’ movement.

I’m deeply humbled and grateful for this award. I believe for all our challenges, we live at a glorious moment history. It’s a moment when, at long last, women have made it clear that we will no longer be controlled, manipulated or abused. I stand with those women and with those men equally outraged who support us in heart and mind. This is also a moment when our public discourse is loud and harsh. My prayer is that, weary of such noise, we will turn back to the source of all calmness, that source is God. Everything we lack, God has in abundance: compassion, sensitivity, patience and boundless love. Again I want to thank all of you for this honour and I thank God for giving me the precious energy that lets me live my life as an artist who every day seeks to expand my capacity to love. She said

Janet joins other music artists like Stevie Wonder, Neil Diamond, Prince, Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion and Cher to be recipients of the Billboard Music Icon Awards. To celebrate her win, click here to listen to some of her hit tracks compiled by Billboard.

Also, watch her acceptance speech below.


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