During her performance at New Orleans’ Essence Fest Sunday (June 8), pop icon Janet Jackson took a moment to reflect on the recent death of her father Joe Jackson.
“Quite honest, it was really hard for me,” said a visibly emotional Jackson during her first performance since her father’s passing. “I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to move forward, if I should cancel this festival or cancel the entire tour.”
The Jackson family patriarch died at the age of 89 following a battle with cancer. While he is credited with pushing his children into the spotlight and cultivating the careers of the Jackson 5, Michael, and Janet, Michael would later accuse Joe of child abuse.
In spite of her father’s conflicted character, Janet had only positive things to say about him.
“He was very strong, and without his drive, his strength, we wouldn’t have this success,” she told the Essence Fest crowd. “We’re a black family that came from Gary, Indiana and we broke all kinds of records around the globe. That’s truth. My father was a great man.”
— Michael Jackson CLUB (@mjjsource_) July 9, 2018