Janet Jackson Is The First Black Woman To Receive Billboard Icon Award

She also performed her first televised performance in nine years.

The 2018 Billboard Music Awards have been an emotional, thrilling evening of powerful performances and statements. The show couldn't stay silent in the shadow of yet another school shooting.

The show opened with host Kelly Clarkson demanding change, while Shawn Mendes and Khalid performed "Youth" with 12 members of the Parkland school choir.

Another huge moment for the show was when they awarded the Icon Award to Janet Jackson.

Introducing Jackson, Bruno Mars informed the crowd she is not just the only artist to have 18 consecutive Top 10 hits on the Hot 100 but is also the first black woman to receive the award.

Jackson then performed an amazing medley of some of her hits, 'Nasy', 'If' and 'Throb' as the crowd went absolutely berserk.

It was Jackson's first televised performance in nine years.

Accepting the award Jackson said she was "deeply humbled" and grateful as well as telling the audience she felt like it came at a "glorious moment in history", voicing her support for the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

"It's a moment when at long last women have made it clear that we will no longer be controlled, manipulated or abused."

"I stand with those women and with those men equally outraged by discrimination who support us in heart and mind."

Jackson continued her speech saying, "This is also a moment when our public discourse is loud and harsh, my prayer is that -- weary of such noise we turn back to the source of all calmness. That source is God."

"I thank God for giving me the precious energy that lets me live my life as an artist. Who every single day seeks to expand my capacity to love. Thank you so much."

The Billboard Icon Award began in 2011, created to recognise inspiring and outstanding performers and their contributions to music. The first recipient was Neil Diamond, and others to accept the award have been Stevie Wonder, Prince, Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion and Cher.

In 1988 Janet's brother Michael was honoured with Billboard's first Spotlight Award for having five consecutive number one singles. Looks like breaking records runs in the family.

Featured image: Getty Images.