Music/News

Janet Jackson championed women’s rights during her Billboard Awards speech

"At long last, women have made it clear that we will no longer be controlled, manipulated, or abused." She is the first black woman to win the Billboard Icon Award.

May 22, 2018

This past Sunday, Janet Jackson had her decade-spanning career honoured at the Billboard Music Awards with the prestigious Icon Prize. And while Jackson has plenty of accolades she could’ve celebrated in her speech – twenty-seven Top 10 singles over her career, being the first black woman to receive the Icon award – she instead used her acceptance as a platform to show support for the #MeToo movement.

Janet was introduced by Bruno Mars, who praised her as “music royalty” from “the first family of entertainment” before lauding that “she is an activist, she is a humanitarian, she is a powerful woman.” Jackson checked off all three of those boxes in her speech, celebrating with the audience that “At long last, women have made it clear that we will no longer be controlled, manipulated, or abused.”

Firmly planting her feet down alongside the much-needed wave of change passing through the entertainment industry, Jackson stated with pride that “I stand with those women and with those men equally outraged by discrimination, who support us in heart and mind”, preaching a message of “compassion, sensitivity, patience, and boundless love.”

Watch Janet’s full acceptance speech below:

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