With 11 albums under her belt, 10 number one Hot 100 hits and an estimated 100 million records sold worldwide, to call Janet Jackson an icon is a fitting tittle and one she’s earned each time she’s graced the stage.
Sunday night (May 20) Jackson performed on television for the first time in nearly a decade when she was was honored with Billboard’s 2018 Icon Award. Each year, Billboard honors an artist for their contributions to music and past recipients include Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez, who was once Jackson’s back up dancer, Cher and the late Prince. Jackson, who recently celebrated her 52nd birthday, became the first black female artist to earn the prestigious title.
Before performing a medley of her famous songs, Bruno Mars took to the stage to sing Janet’s praises and recite a mere fraction of her accomplishments, which include an Academy award and Golden Globe nomination.
After her performance, Jackson graciously accepted her award from Bruno Mars and said despite the adversity that many are facing, this is still a hopeful time for many.
“I’m deeply humbled and grateful for this award. I believe for all the challenges we live at a glorious moment in history. It’s a moment at long last that’s made it clear that we will no longer be controlled, manipulated or abused.”