Janet Jackson: "Women Will No Longer Be Controlled, Manipulated Or Abused"

Janet Jackson has said she supports all the women around the world who "have made it clear we will no longer be controlled, manipulated or abused".

The sonically innovative and socially conscious singer-songwriter, who picked up the Icon Award at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards, used her acceptance speech to praise those who have come forward and given prominence to the #MeToo and Time's Up movements.

(Photo: Miller Mobley via Billboard Magazine)

Before taking to the stage, Bruno Mars introduced her as the "the youngest member of the Jackson family" while the audience was shown a short film outlining her numerous accolades, including being the first black woman to receive the coveted award.

After performing a vibrant medley of three of her best-known songs ("Nasty", "If " and "Throb"), Jackson – amid an overwhelming "Janet" chant – then addressed the arena.

 "I am deeply humbled and grateful for this award. I feel that for all the challenges, all of our challenges, we live at a glorious moment in history," she said.

"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 who support us in heart and mind – This is also a moment when our public discourse is loud and harsh." 

She ended her speech by thanking God, telling fans that "everything we lack, God has in abundance." 

Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep and Chadwick Boseman recently joined forces with British counterparts Letitia Wright, Michael Sheen and Thandie Newton to pen an open letter to world leaders demanding an urgent push for global gender equality.

The letter warns leaders they are being put "on notice" and asks for a commitment to help every girl get an education. It hits out at the inequality between women and men, particularly in the poorest countries of the world.

Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, Chelsea Clinton and Ryan Reynolds are also among the 140 signatories - as well as Neil Patrick Harris, Natalie Dormer and Robin Wright.

Jackson is one of the famous Jackson siblings and her older brother, Michael, is widely considered one of the biggest-selling musicians of all time.

Previous recipients of the Icon Award include Neil Diamond, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion and Cher.

Writer and photographer from South London, UK. If you want to get in touch please email me at: matthew.kirby@konbini.com