Less than two weeks after her father’s death, Janet Jackson took the stage at Essence Festival on July 8, and led a touching tribute to Joe Jackson. See the emotional moment here.

The show must go on. Despite still being devastated about her father, Joe Jackson’s, passing on June 27, Janet Jackson made her return to the stage just 11 days later when she performed at Essence Festival on July 8. During her set, she gave an emotional speech about her father, and explained why she went through with the performance, rather than cancelling amidst her grieving period. “It was really hard for me,” Janet admitted, referencing her father’s death. “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.” Her voice began breaking as she started the speech, but she stayed strong and continued, revealing that it was a conversation with her brother that sparked her decision to keep going.

“We started to speak about my father’s strength,” Janet explained. “He was very strong, and without his drive, his strength….we wouldn’t have this success. We are a black family that came from Indiana and we broke all kinds of records around the globe. That’s truth.” She revealed that her brother asked her what she thought Joe would want her to do, which is when she realized he would want her to “finish what [she’d] started.” She ended the emotional moment nearly in tears, but pointed up at the sky and concluded, “I love you so much. This one’s for you.”

Joe died at the age of 89 after battling cancer, and members of his famous family were by his side in the days leading up to his tragic death. The music mogul was famous for managing the careers of his children and creating the Jackson 5.


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