“My Father Was A Great Man”: Janet Jackson Gives Tearful Tribute To Dad Joe During ESSENCE Fest Performance

July 9, 2018  |  



It’s been an emotional few weeks for iconic superstar Janet Jackson, as her father, Joe Jackson, recently passed away at the age of 89. However, like the true professional she is, she knows that the show must go on and gave fans an electrifying performance at this year’s ESSENCE Fest on Sunday night. The performance took an emotional turn when Jackson gave an impromptu tribute to her dad.

Not one to talk much about her private issues openly, particularly when on stage, Janet surprised fans when she broke down while speaking about her father. She let it be known how important Joe was to her family and their success, and that following his passing, she wasn’t sure if she should continue touring.

“To be quite honest it was really hard for me. It’s always difficult when you lose a loved one. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to move forward, if I should cancel this festival or the entire tour,” she told the crowd in New Orleans. “I talked to my brother and we started to speak about my father’s strength. He was very strong. Without his drive, his strength, we wouldn’t have this success. We’re a Black family that came from Gary, Indiana, and we broke all kinds of records all over the globe. That’s truth.”

Janet continued to praise her father as “a great man” and said that she knew if he were still alive, he would have wanted her to continue working.

“My father was a great man,” she added. “My brother asked me, ‘If he was here listening to this conversation, what do you think he would say to you?’ And I think my father would have said, ‘Janet, please. Finish what you’ve started. And I will be there with you every step of the way in your heart.’ So here I am.”

Janet’s performance was so amazing that she was trending for hours on social media, churning out the iconic hits and choreography that we have come to love. There was also a sweet photo montage of her dad that ran as she sang her classic “Together Again” from her album The Velvet Rope. On her final note about Joe, she simply said, “I love you so much. This one’s for you.”

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