She's had her "Good Times," took "Control," and led a "Rhythm Nation." On Saturday night, Janet Jackson became an icon.
MTV celebrated Jackson's illustrious musical career and influence at the first "mtvICON" gala. Hundreds of celebrities, fans and awe-struck admirers filled Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City for a series of tributes, tears and terrific performances.
Jackson's music, videos and style have influenced many of today's hottest hit-makers, and these top performers took to the stage and literally sang her praises. Rap duo Outkast opened the show by turning their chart-topping single, "I'm Sorry Miss Jackson," into "We Love You, Miss Jackson." Destiny's Child crooned "Let's Wait Awhile," Macy Gray sang "Love Will Never Do (Without You)," and Joshua Todd led Buckcherry in a rock version of "Nasty."
Jackson is known for her moves as much as her music. Aaliyah introduced a thrilling performance that put dance on display featuring Mya on "The Pleasure Principle," Pink on "Miss You Much," and Usher on "Alright." Then, the three were joined by a dozen dancers for a rousing rendition of "Rhythm Nation."
Following the powerful performances, many stars shared their memories and moments with Jackson, who was seated between producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Stevie Wonder recalled meeting her "when she could barely talk, let alone sing - when she could barely walk, let alone dance." Tyrese worshipped her with words, then serenaded the singer with a few a capella bars of "You Are So Beautiful." Other famous fawners included Taye Diggs, Jamie Foxx, Busta Rhymes, David Alan Grier, and top teens Britney Spears, 'N Sync and Christina Aguilera.
For the finale, Janet Jackson stole the stage to perform her new single "All For You," which debuted at No. 14 on last week's Billboard Hot 100, but is expected to be her 10th No.1 single. She has already had more than two dozen top 10 hits, made over 30 videos, and earned eight MTV Video Music Awards, including 1990's Video Vanguard Award.
MTV will award the "mtvICON" annually to an artist who has had an overwhelming impact on music, video and the next generation.
MTV will debut the show honoring Jackson on Tuesday, March 13th at 8 p.m.