The “That’s the Way Love Goes” songstress was one of the legendary artists to receive the honour at the ceremony held at Barclays Center in New York City on Friday night. Janelle Monae — who introduced Jackson and paid tribute to her with her outfit — called her “the legendary queen of black girl magic.”
“She is a bold visionary, a rule breaker, a risk taker and a boundless visual artist. Quite simply y’all, there is only one Janet,” she told the audience. Jackson, who joined her late brother Michael Jackson and the rest of the Jackson 5 as members of the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame, then took the stage to thank her father, the late Joe Jackson, her mother, Katherine, and the rest of her family.
“I want to begin by thanking my incredibly strong family. My wonderful mother and father, as well as my sisters, my brothers. You guys never stopped believing in me,” she said, before explaining how her father took her to a record label at age 14 and helped her get signed.
“It was my father’s dream. He wanted me to become this great performer. He encouraged me, he was the first one to encourage me, and music became my passion. In 1997, my brothers were recognized for their musical contribution by being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and I was so proud of them,” Jackson expressed. “Tonight their baby sister has joined them.”
The singer also took to Twitter to thank her fans, “You’ve been with me every step of the way.”
Jackson also gave Paula Abdul a shout-out, among the other celebrated choreographers she’s worked with, admitting, “I never thought I was a good dancer.” The R&B star also credited Questlove as “my biggest champion.”
Bucking tradition, however, the “Rhythm Nation” singer didn’t perform during the ceremony, as is customary for inductees. Earlier in the day, Variety reported via a source that Jackson “declined to participate in a customary musical number because the event will be filmed for later broadcast on HBO,” the same network that recently aired the controversial Michael Jackson documentary Surviving Neverland.
Before taking the stage, Jackson, 52, posed for the cameras on the red carpet. The iconic singer looked glamourous in a long black gown that featured draping sleeves and black-and-burnt orange feathers on the hemline. The “Feedback” crooner paired the dress with long burnt orange gloves and had her hair in big curls.
Last month, Jackson announced her Las Vegas residency at the Park MGM, which will kick off in May. The show, titled “Metamorphosis”, will explore the hit-making singer’s decades-long evolution and boast a dazzling effects show to match her reputation as a performer.
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