Just one week after laying her father Joe Jackson to rest, Janet Jackson hit the stage to close out Essence Music Festival and gave a rousing performance and tribute to her late father.
After performing for nearly 2 hours, Jackson paused to speak about her father Joe and explained to the crowd at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, in light of his passing, she had contemplated canceling that very performance and her ongoing State of the World Tour.
“I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to go forward—if I should cancel the festival, cancel this entire tour,” she told the audience. “I talked to my brother and we started to talk about my father’s strength. He was very strong. Without his drive and strength, we wouldn’t have this success. We’re a black family that came from Indiana and, we broke all kinds of records from all around the globe. That’s truth.”
“My father was a great man,” she continued. “My brother asked me, ‘If he were here right now listening to this conversation, what do you think he would say to you?’ and I think my father would’ve said, ‘Janet, please, finish what you started and I will be there with you every step of the way in your heart,'” she explained as she began to cry.
Jackson then sang her hit “Together Again” while a collage of photos of she and her father played on the jumbo screens. “So, here I am. I love you so much,” she said. “This one is for you. Let’s celebrate my father. My father would wante to celebrate his life. That’s what I’m going to do today.”
The Jackson family patriarch passed away while in hospice care in late June following a battle with cancer. He was 89 years old.
A Jackson family source told HipHollywood Janet was most effected by Joe’s passing because he was the one that pushed her to act and sing.
Jackson will be headed back out for the second leg and final leg of her State Of The World tour. The tour currently finishes on August 12 in San Francisco, nearly a year after it began in September 2017.