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Tonight (May 20), Janet Jackson became the first black female artist to win the Icon Award at the Billboard Music Awards. Previously accepted by the likes of Celine Dion, Prince, and Jennifer Lopez, this year's honor was presented by Bruno Mars who, before kneeling at Jackson's feet, declared her last name synonymous with "undeniable artistic genius." The singer then took to the stage and, despite her brief acceptance speech, made major impact—as she is prone to do. She used her time to equally celebrate both women ("At long last, women have made it clear that we will no longer be controlled, manipulated or abused") and God ("My prayer is that, weary of such noise, we turn back to the source of all calmness....God. Everything we lack, God has in abundance: compassion, sensitivity, patience and a boundless love.")
And while this moment cannot be cheapened, it reminds us of all of Jackson's other history-making achievements. Simply put, breaking records isn't new to her. After all...
Janet was the first female artist to ever be nominated for a Grammy Award for Producer of the Year (Non-Classical) | The year was 1990 and she'd been considered for co-producing every track on Rhythm Nation.
Rhythm Nation is the only album in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 chart to have seven singles peak within the Top 5 | Count 'em: "Miss You Much," "Rhythm Nation," "Escapade," "Alright," "Come Back to Me," "Black Cat," and "Love Will Never Do (Without You)."
Janet was the first woman to win the Grammy Award for 'Best Music Video, Long Form' | The visual for "Rhythm Nation" took the title in 1990.
Rhythm Nation is the only album to achieve No.1 hits in three separate calendar years | "Miss You Much" in 1989, "Escapade" and "Black Cat" in 1990, and "Love Will Never Do (Without You)" in 1991.
"Scream," her 1995 collaboration with her brother Michael, made history | It would become the first single in the 37-year history of Billboard to debut at No.5 on the Hot 100 chart.
"Runaway," the lead single from her first greatest hits album, Design of a Decade: 1986–1996 made history, too | It made Jackson the first female artist in Billboard's history to debut in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 (as it entered at at No. 6 six in September 1995 and peaked at No.3).
Control holds the record for the most-nominated album at the American Music Awards | It received 12 nods in 1987, and took home four.
Janet is the first artist to earn No.1 singles on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart across four decades | "Make Me," the promotional single from her second greatest hits compilation Number Ones, became her nineteenth No.1 hit single on the aforementioned chart and gave her the title.