Janet Jackson Thanks Son, 2, at Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for Showing Her the Meaning of 'Real' Love
Janet Jackson celebrated her induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with a sweet shoutout to her 2-year-old son, Eissa
Janet Jackson celebrated her induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with a sweet shoutout to her 2-year-old son, Eissa.
“I just want to thank my baby, my beautiful son,” Jackson told the crowd Friday at New York City’s Barclays Center.
“He wakes me up every single morning singing his own melodies. I want you to know that you are my heart, you are my life, and you have shown me the meaning of real, unconditional love. Mama loves you, Eissa.”
The “Rhythm Nation” singer, 52, welcomed the toddler in 2017 with estranged husband Wissam Al Mana.
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Jackson — who opted not to perform at the ceremony – also gave a shoutout to her late father, Joe Jackson, and her brothers, who were inducted into the Hall of Fame as the Jackson 5 in 1997.
“When I was a kid, my dream wasn’t to be a singer. I wanted to go to college and I wanted to be a lawyer. It was my father’s dream,” she said of Joe, who died in June 2018. “He wanted me to become this wonderful performer, he encouraged me. He was the first to encourage me and music became my passion.”
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She also recalled the days of trailing her older siblings as they launched their music careers.
“I witnessed… my family’s extraordinary impact on popular culture,” she said. “As the youngest in my family, I was determined to make it on my own… But never in a million years did I expect to follow in their footsteps. Tonight, your baby sister has made it.”
Jackson continued, “I didn’t do this alone, though, so there are worlds of people that supported me along the way and I just want to begin by thanking my incredibly strong family, my wonderful mother and father. As well as my sisters and my brothers, you guys never stopped believing in me.”
Jackson wrapped her speech with a call for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to “please [in] 2020, induct more women.”
The star was inducted by Janelle Monáe, who dubbed Jackson the “queen of black girl magic,” and admitted that the singer has been her phone screen saver for the past seven years.
“I remember the first time my mama showed me a clip of Janet Jackson,” she said. “It was just so refreshing to see someone who looked like me and millions of other little black girls around the world.”
Jackson earned her coveted spot in the Hall in December, after appearing on the ballot two previous times.
She celebrated the news at the time on Twitter, writing “We did it u guys. Thank U for all your love and support.”
Jackson, a five-time Grammy winner, helped define music in the ’80s and ’90s with anthemic, R&B-infused tracks that earned her the distinction of becoming the only artist with No. 1 singles in the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s.
On the backs of albums like Control and Rhythm Nation, she’s sold more than 160 million records worldwide throughout her decades-long career.
Her brothers were previously inducted with the Jackson 5 in 1997, while brother Michael earned his own spot in 2001.
Jackson, who recently announced an upcoming Las Vegas residency, joined a stacked group of fellow inductees at the 34th annual ceremony, including Stevie Nicks, Radiohead, Def Leppard, the Cure, the Zombies and Roxy Music.
The 34th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will air April 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on HBO, HBO Go, HBO Now, and On Demand.