Janet Jackson received the Global Icon Award at the MTV European Music Awards on Sunday (November 4) in Bilbao, Spain and used her acceptance speech to speak about inequality.
“I accept this award with profound gratitude,” she told the crowd. “To be called an icon is a tremendous honor, but one that comes with a tremendous responsibility. Tonight I feel moved to speak for women whose voices have been stifled. I am one of those women.”
She continued: “Women who have been gagged, both literally and emotionally. Women who have been abused. Women who have been intimated. Women who have lived in fear. I stand with you. You are my sisters.”
Jackson also called on women and men to use their voices and speak up against injustices.
“Speak out for a spirit that crosses all borders, recognizes the dignity of all people and affirms the beauty of all faiths,” she said. “Speak out for acts of true charity, small and large. Speak out for an all-embracing love because it’s love that will heal our wounds. Love that will give us strength to come to one another’s aid.”
In addition to her acceptance speech, Jackson, 52, also torched the stage with a performance of “Made for Now” with “Rhythm Nation” and “All for You” mixed in.