At this weekend’s BET Awards, Janet Jackson won an icon award. The official name of the award was the Ultimate Icon: Music Dance Visual Award. This great honor comes after Jackson announced her intentions earlier this month to return to the music industry, after a seven-year hiatus. At the awards show, several of Jackson’s longtime friends and collaborators came on stage to perform a tribute to the pop/RnB star. Terry Lews, Jimmy Jam, Ciara and Jason Derulo all participated.
“We began a fantastic journey with a friend we celebrate tonight,” Lewis said by way of introduction. “She came to us a young woman with a lot to say and boy did she say it. She is Ms. Janet Jackson.” The performance concluded with fireworks.
“At the time there were few women demanding respect and sounding so funky doing it,” Jimmy Jam continued the speech after Lewis. “Janet’s music and her vocal expressions were empowering innovative and provocative.”
Jackson herself did not perform at the awards show, to the great disappointment of the audience. But she gave a very emotional and touching speech, in which she thanked the hosts of BET and also the crowd for their support.
“It’s been a very long journey to this moment,” Jackson said. “My heart is so full. Thank you God for making anything, everything possible.” Her mother and father were both in attendance at the awards show. Jackson founded Rhythm nation more than 25 years ago, and her next album is due for release late this fall. She will also be going on tour again for the first time in a long time. The name of her tour is the Unbreakable World Tour, and she is dedicating it to her fans. “I’ve missed you so much and I love you so much,” Jackson said at the BET Awards show, which took place in Los Angeles. This year was the 15th year that the show has been celebrating music in America. Jackson is 49 years old.
For her upcoming tour, the RnB legend will be performing 36 shows in 32 cities, starting on August 31 in Vancouver, Canada and including a September 11 performance in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The tour will run through November 12, concluding in Honolulu, Hawaii, where presumably, Jackson will stop to take a much-deserved break on the beach.