The 52-year-old star, who was accepting her Global Icon award, said she was speaking out for “women whose voices have been stifled”.
“I am one of those women,” Janet said.
“Women who have been gagged, both literally and emotionally, women who have been abused, women who have been intimidated, women who have lived in fear.”
“I stand with you. You are my sisters.”
One of many stars to raise awareness of the movement via awards ceremonies this year, Janet also used her acceptance speech for the Billboard Icon Award in May to hail survivors who had spoken out against abuse.
The award similarly recognises a significant contribution to music, and has been given to legends like Stevie Wonder, Prince, and Cher in previous years.
She said at the time: “I am deeply humbled and grateful for this award...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.”
An exclusive report by HuffPost recently revealed that Les Moonves, CEO and chair of CBS had been “obsessed” with ruining Janet’s career, after a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ at the 2004 Superbowl that was blamed solely on Janet, despite the involvement of Justin Timberlake.
Jackson was subsequently banned from attending the MTV Video Music Awards later that year and her invite to the Grammy’s revoked. According to the report, Les also ordered VH1, MTV, and all Viacom-owned stations to no longer play Janet’s music, significantly damaging her record sales.
With this year’s VMAs taking place in Bilbao, Janet has now joined the likes of U2, Eminem, Whitney Houston and Queen in receiving the prestigious recognition of achievement. Before accepting her award she kicked off with a performance of her newest single, ‘Made For Now’, then going on to move through a medley of her biggest anthems, including ‘All For You’ and ‘Rhythm Nation’.
Janet’s performance on Sunday night was as energetic and theatrical as ever; with her entrance being accompanied by a marching band, a huge black scarf billowing behind her and across the stage, and complex group choreography throughout.
Other highlights of the night included a tag-team between Nicki Minaj and Little Mix on their new single ‘Woman Like Me’, and Hailee Steinfeld and Jason Derulo also taking to the stage.
The awards, which have been running since 1994, saw women artists clean up across many big categories this year, with Camila Cabello scooping Best Artist, Best Video, and Best Song, Dua Lipa winning Best Pop Artist, and Nicki Minaj winning Best Hip-Hop Artist.
Useful helplines and websites:
- Victim Support - Visit victimsupport.org.uk or call 0808 168 9111 Sexual Abuse Referral Centres - Find a SARC
- Rape Crisis - Visit rapecrisis.org.uk or call 0808 802 9999 The Rape and Abuse Line - Visit rapeandabuseline.co.uk or call 0808 800 0123 (answered by women) or 0808 800 0122 (answered by men).