BET to honor Janet Jackson with new ‘Icon’ award

Janet Jackson performs at the Greek Theatre in 2011.

Janet Jackson performs at the Greek Theatre in 2011.

(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

BET will honor Janet Jackson with a newly instated achievement honor during its annual awards show on Sunday, the network announced on Tuesday.

The pop diva will be honored with the inaugural Ultimate Icon: Music Dance Visual award during Sunday’s telecast. As part of the presentation, Jackson will be feted with a special dance tribute from Ciara, Jason Derulo and Tinashe – artists who pull deeply from Jackson’s pedigree.

“This is Janet Jackson, people! We are excited beyond belief to present her with our inaugural ULTIMATE ICON: Music Dance Visual award and we are thrilled that she chose the BET Awards as the first step on her new road,” Stephen G. Hill, BET’s president of programming, said in a statement.


“An inspiration to many other artists, ‘Ms. Jackson’ (‘cause I’m nasty) blends music, dance and visuals in unique and groundbreaking ways and we look forward to celebrating her storied history… as well as giving the BET Awards audience a peek into her Unbreakable future.”

No word as yet on whether the singer will also perform during Sunday’s telecast.

After announcing a new album and tour on her birthday last month, Jackson unveiled “No Sleeep,” her first new music in more than five years. The sultry jam is the first offering from her as yet untitled new album, which is due in the fall.

Hosted by Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, the BET Awards will also include performances by Chris Brown, Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj, Meek Mill and more.

Brown and Minaj lead the pack of nominations, with six nods, including the coveted video of the year. Beyonce and Lil Wayne follow with four nominations each and breakout British singer Sam Smith is up for two, including new artist.

The BET Awards air live from the Microsoft Theater on Sunday at 8 p.m. Pacific time.

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