Janet Jackson has paid emotional tribute to her late father during her first performance since his death.
Joe Jackson died on June 27 following a battle with cancer. The family’s patriarch, who managed Janet, her brother Michael, and the Jackson 5, was 89.
“Quite honest, it was really hard for me,” Jackson reportedly told the crowd at New Orleans’ Essence Fest on Sunday (July 8). “I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to move forward, if I should cancel this festival or cancel the entire tour.”
She continued: “He was very strong and without his drive, his strength … we wouldn’t have this success. We are a black family that came from Gary, Indiana and we broke all kinds of records around the globe. That’s the truth. My father was a great man.”
Joe Jackson was criticised for the way he treated his children in his lifetime, with Michael accusing him of severe child abuse. Members of the Jackson family came to his defence after his death, with his grandson Taj writing on Twitter: “Disgusted by some of the comments I’m readying about my grandpa Joe by those who didn’t even know him. Please don’t just regurgitate what you were spoon fed by the press.
“Joe was loved by our ENTIRE family and our hearts are in pain. Let us grieve without the nastiness.”
Janet Jackson is currently on tour in the US and is due to perform in Austin, Texas tomorrow (July 11). Her current run of dates will conclude at San Francisco’s Outside Lands festival on August 12.