Janet Jackson is officially in.
The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame held its induction ceremony on Friday night and in a lengthy speech, Jackson remarked that the Hall should have done better by inducting more women for their contributions to music.
“And Rock and Roll Hall of Fame please, 2020: Induct more women,” she said.
Janelle Monae, who inducted Jackson shared a passionate speech about one of her idols, referring to the multi-time Grammy winner as her “own religion” and that the “Control” singer was Monae’s phone screensaver for over seven years.
“I remember the first time my momma showed me a clip of our Janet Jackson and I saw this resplendent, assertive, talented girl with an afro puff on the top of her head,” she said. “And it was just so refreshing to see someone who looked like me and millions of other little black girls around the world. And even then at the earliest stages of her career, you could see she was a different kind of star.” She added, “History is not complete without you, Janet.”
Although she framed her speech around her four decades in music, she also thanked her brothers when they were inducted as a group in 1997 as well as long-time collaborators Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. “You guys are my two dads and so much more. You are brilliant producers, incredible songwriters, wise teachers, and my great friends. I salute you tonight for the body of work that we created together, but also for your contribution to the world of music. I love you guys.”
In remembering her brother Michael and her brothers’ induction into the Hall, Jackson said, ”
I was always crashing their rehearsals. I was always tagging along, always with my brothers. I witnessed, along with the rest of the world, my family’s extraordinary impact on popular culture. Not just in America, but all around the globe, the entire globe. As the youngest in the family, I was determined to make it on my own. I wanted to stand on my own two feet, but never in a million years did I expect to follow in their footsteps. Tonight, your baby sister has made it in.”
She also bucked the tradition of performing at the ceremony. Usually, inductees perform as the ceremony is to air on a later date on HBO. However, due to the network airing of a defaming documentary against her brother Michael in Leaving Neverland, Jackson declined to perform.
Read Janet’s entire speech below.
This is a big moment.
When I was a kid my dream wasn’t to be singer. I wanted to go to college and I wanted to be a lawyer. It was my father’s dream. He wanted me to become this wonderful performer. He encouraged me. He was the first one to encourage me. Music became my passion.
In 1997, my brothers were recognized for their musical passion by being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and I was so, so proud. As you saw in the clip, I was always crashing their rehearsals. I was always tagging along, always with my brothers. I witnessed, along with the rest of the world, my family’s extraordinary impact on popular culture. Not just in America, but all around the globe, the entire globe. As the youngest in the family, I was determined to make it on my own. I wanted to stand on my own two feet, but never in a million years did I expect to follow in their footsteps.
Tonight, your baby sister has made it in.
I didn’t do this alone, though. There’s a world of people that supported me along the way.
I want to begin by thanking my incredibly strong family, my wonderful mother and father, my sisters and my brothers. You guys never stopped believing in me. In the early ‘80s, it was my father who took me to A&M Records when I was this unproven 14-year-old. Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss had enough faith in me to give me a record deal. I’m forever to grateful to you and the entire A&M family, which includes you, Jesus Garber. I also want to thank Angela Winbush, Rene Moore and Leon Sylvers. You guys were the first believers.
Two great men — Dick Clark and Don Cornelius — introduced me to this vast audience, and to all the program directors and the DJs all around the world, you supported me and my music for the past 37 years. You’ve made all the difference, and I thank you for that.
Jimmy [Jam] and Terry [Lewis], can you guys please stand up? In the mid-’80s, you came to A&M Records and you were asked if there was any artist you would want to produce, who would it be? And you guys said, “Janet.” That’s a real story. You guys are my two dads and so much more. You are brilliant producers, incredible songwriters, wise teachers and my great friends. I salute you tonight for the body of work that we created together, but also for your contribution to the world of music. I love you guys.
I never thought I was a good dancer, but I loved the way dancing made my body feel. I have to thank all the choreographers I ever worked with, especially Paula Abdul, Anthony Thomas, Terry Bixler, Tina Landon and Gil Duldulao.
I love you guys so much. Janet Zeitoun, Wayne Lukas and Kevin Aucoin, Tara Posey, Fran Cooper — even when it was hard for me to look at myself in the mirror, you always guys made me feel so fabulous.
Questlove, please stand. You have been my biggest champion, thank you so much.
I have to thank my core JDJ team — Jessica Davenport, you were there over 30 years ago when I just started on Good Times; Jaime Mendoza and Terri Harris, you make my daily life run smoothly. Thank you so much.
I also want to say a personal word to each and every fan. You’ve been with me every step of the way. In all my ups. All my downs. I never have and never will take you for granted. I love you with all my heart.
Thank you God for giving us life and the ability to embody goodness.
With God all is possible, and all is good.
And I want to thank my baby, my beautiful son. He wakes me up every single morning singing his own little melodies. He’s only two, you guys. I want you to know that you’re my heart, you’re my life, and you have shown me the meaning of real, unconditional love. Mama loves you, Eissa, rah rah rah.
And Rock and Roll Hall of Fame please, 2020: Induct more women.
Thank you so much.