“Hello. I’m here tonight to induct the legendary queen of black girl magic into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Ms. Janet Damita Jo Jackson,” Monae said during her speech. “Our fearless leader is one of the biggest selling artists in music history. This five-time Grammy Award winner and Academy Award nominee has sold 180 million albums worldwide. With an epic career spanning over four decades and nine No. 1 albums, this gifted singer, songwriter, producer, dancer, actress is an icon. She is a bold visionary, a rule-breaker, a risk taker, and a boundless visual artist. Quite simply, y’all, there is only one Janet.”
“I remember the first time my momma showed me a clip of our Janet Jackson,” she continued. “And I saw this resplendent, assertive, talented girl with an afro puff on the top of her head. 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. Working with her trusted collaborators, her tribe Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, she created a unique and unforgettable sound.”
Monáe has frequently referenced Jackson in her own work, drawing comparisons for performances during her Dirty Computer and Electric Lady eras. In the past, Monáe has referred to Jackson as one of her biggest inspirations. The pair have also been on the same concert bills a few times in the past, including Global Citizens Festival last fall, where they posed for a photograph together. Later this year, they will both perform at Glastonbury.
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Jackson went on a seven year hiatus before releasing 2015’s Unbreakable. The LP reunited Jackson with her frequent collaborators Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, and featured guest appearances from J. Cole and Missy Elliott. It was her eleventh album, and the seventh to debut at Number One on the Billboard 200. She followed it with two tours, the first of which was postponed in 2015, following the announcement that she was pregnant with her first child. Earlier this year, Jackson announced her first Las Vegas residency, Metamorphosis, which will launch in May at the Park MGM’s Park Theater.