Janet Jackson was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Friday (March 29) but refused to perform at the ceremony.
That’s according to a new report that claims that she didn’t perform on the basis of HBO’s involvement with the Rock Hall. HBO broadcasted the controversial Leaving Neverland documentary in which two men allege that her late brother, Michael, sexually abused them as children.
Variety has reported that a source said Jackson was siding with her family, who deny the allegations levelled at Michael. “A source tells Variety she declined to participate in a customary musical number because the event will be filmed for later broadcast on HBO, the cable network that aired Leaving Neverland,” the report read.
In addition, Variety wrote that representatives for Janet Jackson, HBO and the Rock Hall “have not responded to requests for comment on any possible animus between the singer and the network.”
Jackson attended the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony to make an acceptance speech, in which she asked that the Hall “induct more women.”
Welcomed by Janelle Monáe onto the stage the Barclays Center in New York on Friday night, the singer delivered a heartfelt speech that thanked her friends, family and closest collaborators, and also urged the Rock Hall to induct more women.
Thanking her “beautiful son,” Jackson said: “He wakes me up every single morning singing his own little melodies. He’s only two, you guys. I want you to know that you’re my heart, you’re my life and you have shown me the meaning of real, unconditional love. Mama loves you.”
Eligible since 2007, the youngest member of the Jackson clan now joins her family in the Hall. The Jackson 5 were inducted in 1997, while her brother Michael Jackson was inducted as a solo artist in 2001.
“In 1997, my brothers were recognised for their musical passion by being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” she told the New York crowd. “I was so, so proud. As you saw in the clip, I was always crashing their rehearsals. I was always tagging along, always with my brothers.”
Thanking the likes of Questlove, Paula Abdul, Dick Clark and Don Cornelius, to name but a few, Jackson made a point to thank and single out production duo Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis.
“Can you guys please stand up?,” she asked the pair. “In the mid-80s, you came to A&M Records and you were asked if there was any artist you would want to produce, who would it be? And you guys said Janet. That’s a real story. You guys are my two dads and so much more. You are brilliant producers, incredible songwriters, wise teachers and my great friends. I salute you tonight for the body of work that we created together, but also for your contribution to the world of music. I love you guys.”
Starting out performing on the Jackson 5’s variety show, The Jacksons, when she was just seven years old, Jackson launched her singing career in 1982 at the age of 18 when she released her self-titled debut. Her real breakthrough came when she introduced to the world 1986’s multi-platinum selling ‘Control’.
Artistically inspiring multiple generations, the singer has long been an inspiration for female artists in particular. At last night’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony she continued to champion women in music by calling for the Hall to “induct more women” in 2020, at the end of her speech.
In other Janet Jackson news, while the singer will play at this year’s Glastonbury Festival it appears she has edited the festival’s 2019 line-up poster so that her name features first.
Fans were quick to point out the move after the pop legend tweeted an image of the poster earlier this month (March 18). One fan wrote: “aww bless you edited the poster still thats awesome x”