Janet Jackson closed out this year’s annual Essence Festival in honor of her late father, Joe Jackson.
In addition to offering fans a selection of her deep catalog of hits, the international icon took time out to publicly pay tribute to the patriarch of the Jackson family of entertainers — who passed away on June 27 from cancer.
“Quite honestly it was really hard for me,” Janet shared with the crowd. “I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to move forward if I should cancel this festival or cancel the entire tour.”
Janet went on to reflect on her father’s entertainment legacy and influence, which birthed the family’s early musical talents.
“He was very strong…and without his drive, his strength…we wouldn’t have this success,” she said. “We are a black family that came from Gary, Indiana and we broke all kinds of records around the globe. That’s the truth. And my father was a great man.”
“My brother, he asked me, ‘if he was here right now listening to this conversation, what do you think he would say to you?’ And I think my father would’ve said, ‘Janet, please finish what you started,” she added. “And I will be there with you every step of the way in your heart.’ So here I am. I love you so much. This one’s for you.”
#R.I.P. Joe Jackson