Janet Jackson Praises 'Incredible Father' Joe Jackson Amid His Terminal Cancer Battle
Janet Jackson took the stage at the 2018 Radio Disney Music Awards on Friday and praised father Joe Jackson amid his terminal cancer battle
The singer, 52, took the stage at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, where she was honored at the 2018 Radio Disney Music Awards with the Impact Award (which has now been renamed the Janet Jackson Award).
During her speech, Janet spoke about Joe’s influence on her career. Her words came as news broke that Joe — the music manager and father of 11, including the late Michael Jackson — has been hospitalized with terminal pancreatic cancer.
“It’s beautiful, it’s humbling to be recognized as someone that has had a positive impact, but if I have been fortunate enough to impact others it is only because I, myself, have been greatly impacted by positive people in my life,” Janet said in her speech.
“My mother nourished me with the most extravagant love imaginable, my father, my incredible father, drove me to be the best that I can,” she added. “My siblings set an incredibly high standard for artistic excellence… Sometimes, having an impact can be as simple as a smile, a handshake, or a hug.”
The 89-year-old Jackson family patriarch has been battling the illness “for some time,” TMZ reported on Friday, but is “at the end stages” and the “cancer cannot be treated.”
Family members, including Joe’s 88-year-old wife Katherine Jackson, have been at his bedside, sources told TMZ. Jackson’s children and grandchildren have also made visits.
On Wednesday, son Jermaine shared with the Daily Mail, “He’s very, very frail, he doesn’t have long. The family needs to be by his bedside — that’s our only intention in his final days.”
Reps for Jackson, as well as various Jackson relatives, did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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Meanwhile, Janet’s award at the Radio Disney Music Awards was presented to her by That’s So Raven star Raven-Symoné.
“You are the example of art, you are the Goddess of performance,” Symoné, 32, said in her introduction. “You have never let us down…. Thank you, Queen!”
Asked on the red carpet what it means to present Janet with the award, Symoné said that she was “indebted” to the “Miss You Much” songstress:
“Listen, there are a handful of people in this industry that have started as young as myself, or her, and that have lasted that long with a career that you can be proud of with a career that is always pushing entertainment to the next level,” Symoné said of Janet. “There is an elegance, there is a genuine [aspect] that her and her family ooze out of their system. And that is why I am indebted to her, because there are not a lot of role models for people like me, and she is one of them.”