Janet Jackson has picked up the Ultimate Icon award at last night’s BET Awards in Los Angeles.
Fledgling music stars Jason Derulo, Ciara and Tinashe paid tribute to Janet in a medley of dance routines. The show was completed with a short excerpt from No Sleep as her new backing dancers performed a routine.
Janet emerged from stage to then give a short speech as she was presented with her award by long time producers and friends Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
Janet’s parents, Katherine and Joe Jackson, were also in the audience and she thanked them.
It’s been a long journey to this moment. My heart is full. I’m so grateful for the support you’ve always given me… my beautiful mother and father… and my entire family… Your love is unbreakable…
My thanks to Jimmy and Terry for our incredible history… to BET… as well as everyone who performed in this tribute.
Twenty-five years ago, we created Rhythm Nation hoping the world could be a better place. But today there is even more to be done. Let’s keep the conversation going.
And finally, thank you to my loving husband, and to my fans, I love you.
Earlier, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis introduced the tribute and the award.
“We began a fantastic journey with a friend we celebrate tonight. She came to us a young woman with a lot to say and boy did she say it. She is Ms. Janet Jackson,” Terry Lewis said. Jimmy continued: “At the time there were few women demanding respect and sounding so funky doing it. Janet’s music and her vocal expressions were empowering innovative and provocative.”
Watch the performance and acceptance speech below as well as a backstage video.