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Janet Jackson Becomes First Black Woman To Receive Billboard Icon Award

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Janet Jackson has become the first black woman to win the Icon Award at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas.

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She slayed a medley of her most popular songs ― including “Nasty” and “Throb” ― and gave a powerful speech that pledged solidarity to #MeToo while calling for an end to “loud and harsh” public discourse.

Bruno Mars introduced the 52-year-old pop star by noting the sociopolitical impact of her work and the sheer success of it ― she’s the first woman to record five straight No. 1 albums.

Then Jackson went to work on stage in reportedly her first televised performance since 2009.

The crowd chanted “Ja-net, Ja-net, Ja-net!” as she began her acceptance speech.

“I believe that for all the challenges, for all our challenges, we live at a glorious moment in history,” she said in the clip above. “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,” she added. “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.”

 

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