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On Sunday (July 8), Janet Jackson brought on an exceptional performance at 2018 Essence Festival in New Orleans. It was the first time the music legend performed since the passing of her father, Joe Jackson. Unforced with an abundance of strong delicacy, Jackson paused a part of her performance to deliver a heartfelt speech about her late father, Billboard reports.

The Control singer started off the speech with noting her emotional state over the past couple of days. “It was really hard for me,” said Janet. “I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to move forward, if I should cancel this festival or the entire tour.”

She went on to recall an intimate conversation with one of her brothers and deemed the exchange as being pivotal to her line of motivation to perform. The famed siblings discussed their father, recognizing his grand influence upon their lives. “He was so strong, and without his drive, his strength…we wouldn’t have this success. We are a black family that came from Indiana and we broke all kinds of records around the globe. That’s truth.” When asked by her brother what their father would have advised her to do, she ascertained he would tell her to “finish what [she’d] started.”


Janet’s electrifying performance at Essence Fest was the first stop of the second leg of her State of the World Tour in North America. Many have wondered about her sentiments relating to her fathers passing, as she had been rightfully silent since the breaking news. At the age of 89, Joe Jackson passed away on June 27 while in hospice care from his battle with pancreatic cancer, to which he was in the final stages. Jackson was buried last Monday in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, the same burial site as his late son, Michael Jackson.

Watch Janet Jackson’s mid-performance speech about her father, Joe Jackson, below.