It was a big night for Janet Jackson. Not only did she perform live at a televised awards show for the first time in nine years, but she was also honored with the 2018 Billboard Music Awards' Icon Award for her impressive career.
The award was presented to her by none other than Bruno Mars, who pointed out that Jackson is the first black female ever to receive it. Pretty amazing. Before she accepted the award though, she brought down the house with an epic performance. She hit the stage with her famous three words: “Gimme a beat!” Jackson the launched into singing "Nasty."
Flanked by back up dancers, she showed off her impressive moves before launching into 1993's "Throb." Needless to say, everyone couldn't get enough.
Once she finished her performance, she accepted her award and brought down the house again with a chill-inducing speech.
"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," she told the audience. "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."
"This is also a moment when our public discourse is loud and harsh. My prayer is that, weary of such noise, we turn back to the source of all calmness. That source, that source is God. Everything we lack, God has in abundance: compassion, sensitivity, patience, and a boundless love," she continued.
"So, 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 single day seeks to expand my capacity to love. Thank you so much.”
The crowed couldn't get enough of her speech or her performance. Tyra Banks was especially enthusiastic. She got to her feet to cheer on Jackson, proving that she might be the singer's number one fan. And who can blame her? She totally crushed it.