Silence please! The Queen of Pop has taken the stage.
After nine years without a televised performance, Janet Jackson returned in front of the TV cameras for a set to celebrate her extraordinary career. As the evening’s Icon Award honoree at the 2018 Billboard Music Awardsthe show highlighted the star’s childhood rise to fame through to her international pop domination with a video recounting her decades of accomplishments. Presenter Bruno Mars continued the introduction (as if Jackson needed one!) as he listed off her music’s impressive stats.
Then, it was time for the star herself to take the stage. She kicked off her electric set with her iconic hit “Nasty,” which immediately brought the crowd to its feet. Joined by a stage full of backup dancers, the star had only just begun as she switched into 1993 track, “Throb” and also included music and choreography from “If.”
With her mother Katherine Jackson proudly watching from the audience, Jackson then accepted her statue with powerful words in support of women everywhere.
“I am deeply humbled and grateful for this award. 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,” she said into the mic.