Few artists can look back on their careers while still adding to their legacy. On Sunday, Janet Jackson became the first Black woman to receive the Icon Award at the Billboard Music Awards.

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Not only did she add another award to her decorated career, Ms. Jackson took over the Billboard stage reminding us all she is still one of the greatest performers of our time. 2018 also marks the 25th anniversary of her famed album, janet.

After a sincere introduction from Bruno Mars, Ms. Jackson wasted no time getting audience members out of their seats. Opening her set with the sonic sounds of “Nasty,” fans and audience members alike couldn’t resist moving and grooving along with the legendary singer.


Regardless of her age, she proved she was still agile and quite flexible while dancing through snippets ofIf” and other classics such as “Throb” and “Let’s Dance.”

Upon accepting her award Ms. Jackson expressed her gratitude. She also used her acceptance speech to embrace her sense of womanhood as well as the perseverance of women. Her message echoed the sentiments of the #MeToo movement. “We live at a glorious moment in history—a moment when at long last women have made it clear that we will no longer be controlled, manipulated or abused,” said Jackson.

Still, she identified the unified effort needed to protect our women. “I stand with those women and with those men equally outraged by discrimination who support us in heart and mind.” 

In closing, she made it clear that her purest intention is to expand her capacity for love.

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images