Janet Jackson accepts Music Icon Award at OUT100 gala
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Janet Jackson was honored with the Music Icon award at OUT magazine's OUT100 gala on Thursday (11.09.17).

The 'That's The Way Love Goes' hitmaker was recognized by the magazine - which is written for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community - for her influential and acclaimed five-decade spanning pop career.

Janet - the sister of the late Michael Jackson - used her acceptance speech to thank the staff at the magazine for their recognition and for all their work in helping people come to terms and embrace their sexuality.

Speaking at the ceremony in New York City, she said: "Words are necessary and mine are few so I'm going to try and speak from my heart. My heart says thank you, your appreciation means the world to me. My heart says thank you for being and having the courage to be who you are. Thank you for giving others the courage to be who they are."

The 51-year-old singer also took the time to comment on the stage of the world, and promote a message of unity and "encouragement".

She added: "My heart says so much of today's public discourse is ugly, so much prejudice, so much bullying, so much narrow minded bigotry but then my heart says look at you people here tonight.

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"You're so loving, so giving, so willing to let the world know that differences don't matter. Differences are beautiful, diversity is a gift. We're all different, we're all the same, we're all vulnerable, were all in need of acceptance and encouragement." Janet - who welcomed her baby boy Eissa into the world in January 2017 - even took inspiration from her own lyrics in her speech, recalling a line from 1997 hit 'Together Again'.

She said: "Everywhere I go, every smile I see, I know you are there, smilin' back at me."

This article originally ran on celebretainment.com.

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