Just a few weeks ago, Janet Jackson teased fans worldwide by promising a new album and an international tour. Before the news of her impending return could set in, it was announced that the R&B legend would be presented with the Ultimate Icon: Music Dance Visual Award at the 15th annual BET Awards. Jackson’s career was honored by a brief photo montage of the singer throughout the years. Later, Ciara, Jason Derulo and Tinashe took the stage to perform dance medley’s to some of Jackson’s most famous hits.
Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Jackson’s longtime friends and the producers of her albums, presented Jackson with her icon award as fireworks erupted.
Jackson herself didn’t perform onstage, but she gave a very moving speech to her fans, and thanked them for their love and support. She described her career as a “long journey” and thanked God for making everything in her life possible. Jackson also thanked her family, including her parents who were in attendance.
The last time Jackson attended the BET Awards was in 2009 – just a few days after her brother Michael died. It was an extremely somber occasion for the Jackson family, but this time around, Jackson’s presence was met with excitement and anticipation for what we can hope to expect from the singer in the next few months.
She has already released her first single entitled “No Sleeep” – a melodic and jazz-inspired tune produced by Jam and Lewis. The track has already received critical acclaim and quickly reached the top of the Billboard Trending 140 list. Jackson is set to release her new studio album later this year while simultaneously kicking off her 37-date world tour.
Jackson has enjoyed more than two decades in the music industry, and the 49-year-old doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. She’s back to reclaim her spot at the top of the charts, and her legions of fans will be there to support her every step of the way.