Janet Jackson is the First Black Woman to Receive Icon Award at Billboard Awards

Janet Jackson has made history by becoming the first black woman to win the Icon Award at this year’s Billboard Music Awards.

Bruno Mars introduced her to the stage in Las Vegas as “the first black woman to ever receive the Billboard Icon Award,” and Jackson bounded onto the stage, bursting into her songs; Nasty from 1986 and Throb from 1993.

After performing, she took to the stage once more, addressing the crowd with an emotional thank-you speech.

“I’m deeply humbled and grateful for this award. I believe that for all the challenges, all of our challenges, we live a great moment in history.”

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“It’s a moment that at long last women have made it clear that we will not be controlled, manipulated or abused,” she said about the ongoing #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

She followed this poignant moment up with a faith-inspired message:

“Our public discourse is loud and harsh. My prayer is that weary of such noise, we will turn back to the source of all calmness, that source is God.”

“Everything we lack, God has in abundance: compassion, sensitivity, patience and boundless love. Again I want to 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 day seeks to expand my capacity to love.”

This was the first time Janet Jackson had performed in almost a decade and she joins other music legends such as Cher, Stevie Wonder, Prince and more. But this moment is particularly special for Janet as she leads the race in achieving what has not been achieved before by a black female artist.

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Well done to Janet Jackson, we are so proud of you!

Let us know what you think of Janet’s award and speech @CelebMix!

Written by Laura

25, Marvel nerd, wine lover