Janet Jackson Accepts the Icon Award at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards (VIDEO)
Iconic, indeed: Janet Jackson received the Icon Award — previously dispensed to only a handful of artists — at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards Sunday night (May 20).
After an introduction by Bruno Mars, Jackson delivered a speech that championed women and canvassed against hatred.
"Thank you so much. Thank you Bruno, thank you Billboard. I'm deeply humbled and grateful for this award," she said. "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 such noise we turn back to the source of all calmness," Jackson continued. "That source, that source is God. Everything we lack God has in abundance: compassion, sensitivity, patience, and a boundless love. So again, I wanna 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."
Jackson also performed as a part of the broadcast, and proved why she was more than worthy of the honors. Many followers pointed out that Jackson, who's 52, moves more powerfully than many of her younger peers.
"Music bidness royalty right there! @JanetJackson never allowed her vision to waver! @billboard Icon Award well deserved!
#Mamasbabies #Mamaonduty," one fan wrote on Twitter while another noted "Janet Jackson is really one of the best living performers of all time! #BBMAs."
Neil Diamond, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion and Cher have previously received the distinction of Billboard Icon.