Janet Jackson made history last night when she emerged as the first black woman to receive the Icon Award at the Billboard Music Awards.
The 52-year-old entertainer also performed on the night as she opened her set with “Nasty” on a lit-up platform in the middle of the arena.
“No, my first name ain’t baby,” she said before asking the audience, “What’s my name y’all?”
Right after the performance, she accepted the Icon Award and delivered a powerful speech. In part, she saaid: “For all our challenges, we live at a glorious moment in history,” said Janet. “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.
“My prayer is that weary of such noise, we turn back to the source of all calmness. That source is God. Everything we lack, God has in abundance. Compassion, sensitivity, patience, and a boundless love.”