Relive Janet Jackson’s 2001 ‘MTV Icon’ Special

Sources: Lite 98.7 – By By Ali Szubiak | All Things Michael


It’s Janet June! All month long, we’re paying tribute to Janet — Miss Jackson, if you’re nasty — with a celebration the legacy of the icon as she prepares to make her long-awaited comeback to the music scene. Welcome back, Miss Janet.

Remember when MTV used to honor great artists of our time mid-career? Remember when there were artists worth honoring mid-career? Remember when MTV played music videos? Also, did you know that Pink, the unofficial ambassador of Australia, used to dance? We briefly forgot. That is, until we dug back into the archives and pulled out 14-year-old footage from the network’s 2001 MTV Icon special — the very first of which was dedicated to the great Janet Jackson.

It isn’t often that a family produces one child who comes to alter the face of music forever — let alone two. And while the rest of us mostly have tone-deafness and a penchant for alcoholism coursing through our DNA, the Jacksons have multi-octave vocal range and rhythm: We got Michael, and then came Janet. And together, they were a veritable demonstration of the fluidity of motion. “Scream,” anyone?

It wouldn’t be easy to step out from a shadow cast as widely as Michael’s, but Janet paved her own way, leaving a lasting impact on the music industry and cementing her status as a living legend. With the announcement of an upcoming album finally near-ish a release date, we thought it appropriate to take a moonwalk down memory lane — and yes, she could do it too.

Pink was a part of this special — and she danced.

The special ended with Janet taking it upon herself to upstage every previous performer that took the time out of their undoubtedly busy schedules to honor her by delivering a six-and-a-half-minute long performance of her then-single, “All For You.” She killed it, practically slaughtering every artist who was up before her and mopping up their remains with whatever dance move was most popular at the time, then painted the walls of the California arena with their blood — proving to everyone watching at home that as good as some of those pop stars paying tribute would become, she would always be better.

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