Janet Jackson delivered a moving acceptance speech on inequality after she received the Global Icon Award at the MTV European Music Awards on Sunday evening in Bilbao, Spain.
"I accept this award with deep gratitude," she told the audience, after being introduced by the singers Jason DeRulo and Camila Cabello. "Being called an icon is a huge honor, but one that comes with enormous responsibility. Tonight, I feel moved to speak for women whose voices have been choosen."
"I'm one of those women," she continued. "Women who have been gagged, both literally and emotionally." Women who have been abused. "Women who have become intimidated." Women who have lived in fear. I am with you. "You are my sisters."
Her speech was met with continuous applause from many men and women in the audience. She described a hopeful future for all women.
"Tonight, I'm hoping that a new world will emerge," she said. "A world of caring people – both men and women – no longer tolerates gender differences. Women – our voices will be heard. We will be heard when we speak for justice."
She gave a lousy reason why women could use their voices and talk to injustices.
"Speak for a spirit that crosses all boundaries, acknowledges the dignity of all men and confirms the beauty of all faiths," she said. "Speak for works of true charity, small and large. Tell out for an all-encompassing love, for it's love that will heal our wounds. Love that gives us the strength to come to eachother's help."
She thanked her fans and God and expressed her love for her 1 year old son Eissa. "Let's lift our voices. Let's start today and let God's ever amazing love lead the way," she concluded.
In addition to her acceptance language, Jackson also performed a collection of some of her biggest hits, including "Rhythm Nation" and "All for You", along with her 2018 song, "Made for Now".
The singer Missy Elliot celebrated the singer on Twitter and wrote "Every prize you get @JanetJackson you have worked for it and OVERVIEW it! COLLECT YOUR TING. You are a global icon and you and your family have done so much for CULTURE! That's why you still INSPIRE many ppl through your music and style and performance 40 YRS LATER! "
Any price you get @JanetJackson you have worked for it and deserve it !!! Collect your case ?????? You are a global icon ???? and you and your family have done so much for the culture! That's why you're still INSPIRE many ppl through your music and style and performance 40 YRS LATER! We? You https://t.co/FvJw2N87Uw
– Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) November 5, 2018
Jackson has previously talked about gender discrimination. At the 2018 Global Citizen Festival, she described abuse of power as she was exposed to.
"Like millions of other women out there, I know about bullying," she told the audience. "I know of verbal abuse. I know about physical abuse. I know about abuse of authority."
"I'm sick, I'm off, I'm upset by the double standards that continue to treat women as second-class citizens," she continued. "Experienced injustice. Sufficient bigotry. Digestion and thoughtless prejudice must end – and stop now. Equality is our demand. Action is our response."
Jackson later published a picture of Instagram from MTV European Music Awards, who expressed his appreciation for the award.
She also shared a picture together with Cabello, who also had great success, took home four awards.