Moments after delivering one heck of an electrifying performance, Janet Jackson returned back on-stage at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards to be the recipient of this year’s ICON Award.
Introduced by Bruno Mars, Janet’s acceptance of the gong was itself iconic, having become the first black woman to ever receive the award, described as a celebration to artists “whose body of work has made a profound influence over pop music on a global level”.
In a moving and empowering speech, Janet said “I’m deeply humbled and grateful for this award. I believe that for all the challenges—for all our challenges—we live at a glorious moment in 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 by discrimination, 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 turn back to the source of all calmness. That source is God. Everything we lack, God has in abundance: compassion, sensitivity, patience, and a boundless love. So again, I want to thank all of you for this honor and I thank God for giving me the precious energy that lets me live my life as an artist, who every single day seeks to expand my capacity to love. Thank you so much.”
Watch the full speech below:
— Billboard Music Awards (@BBMAs) May 21, 2018