Janet Jackson became the first black woman to win the Billboard Icon Award last night. When do I get to stop writing the words “the first black woman to…”? Of course, Janet deserves all the things so it’s about time she was given this award. Janet performed for the first time on television in almost a decade and she still made almost every other artist half her age look like a hot mess. 

Seriously, between Janet, Salt N Peppa and En Vogue, these kids should be embarrassed. They got UPSTAGED by a bunch of women who are supposed to be past their prime. They proved that’s some bullsh-t. If I was Camilla Cabello and I saw what Janet did on that stage, I would’ve gone home. 

Janet’s performance at the BBMAs kicks off her new era and it was the best promo she could have given. She looked UNREAL in an oversized gold sweater that I need in my life and thigh-high gold boots during her medley of “Nasty,” “If”, and “Throb.” If this performance is any indication, Janet’s new era is going to be SEXY. This woman is 52-years-old and can still hit choreo like no one else. She just went through a tough divorce and we all know how she’s been treated in the past when she expresses her sexuality. These songs were a bold choice and I’m predicting that they’re a subtle hint of the vibe of the new album, which she is being very vague about. 

Janet’s performance was met with appropriate enthusiasm by pretty much everyone, especially Tyra Banks, and raucous applause by the crowd. After everything Janet has gone through in her career and the years of disrespect she had to endure (#NeverForget), it made me a bit emotional to see her get honoured like this again. The question now becomes whether Janet will be supported in the same way when she releases the new record. 

Janet delivered another big moment with her acceptance speech and subtly referenced the #MeToo movement. 

“I’m deeply humbled and grateful for this award. I believe that for all the challenges, all of our challenges, we live a great moment in history. It’s a moment that at long last women have made it clear that we will not be controlled, manipulated or abused. I stand with those women and those men.”

So, the new album is going to be all about female empowerment and sexual liberation! Is that a reach? Considering you could classify pretty much all of her albums as being about female empowerment and sexual liberation, I think it’s a safe bet. 

I loved Janet’s whole look on the red carpet but the belt is not my favourite. This belt has no business being in the vicinity of the perfection that is Janet Jackson.