Janet Jackson Speaks Out about Women’s Issues and the Need to Change the Culture

Janet Jackson accepted the Icon Award with a powerful speech about the #MeToo movement, and emphasized her spirituality, saying, “I believe that, for all of our challenges, we live at a glorious moment in history. It’s a moment that, at long last, women have made it clear that we will no longer be controlled, manipulated, or abused. I stand with those women and with those men equally outraged by discrimination, who support us in heart and mind. My prayer is that, weary of such noise, we will turn back to the source of all calmness, that source is God. Everything we lack, God has in abundance: compassion, sensitivity, patience and boundless love.”

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Kelly Clarkson’s Call to Action

Billboard Awards host Kelly Clarkson opened the show with a passionate call for change and an end to gun violence, asking as she held back tears, “Why don’t we not do a moment of silence? Why don’t we do a moment of action? Why don’t we do a moment of change? Why don’t we change what’s happening?”

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The Billboard Awards Spotlight Women in the Music Industry

Uber Chief Brand Officer Bozoma Saint John spearheaded a partnership to highlight women’s roles in the music industry throughout the evening. “We’re thrilled to partner with the BBMAs and Ciara for this incredible night in music, and to help create opportunities for women in all roles in the music industry to share their beautiful voices,” Saint John says.

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An Avicii Tribute Highlights Mental Health Advocacy

During an emotional tribute by Halsey and the Chainsmokers, the group emphasized how much they miss Avicii—as well as the importance of providing support for those struggling with mental health issues. “He was such a joy, and it makes this tragedy all the more painful, and it’s a reminder to all of us to be there and support and love all of our friends and family members who may be struggling with mental health issues,” Halsey said.

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