Janet Jackson Gets Emotional While Performing Song About Abuse For the First Time in 18 Years

Janet Jackson continued her return from a maternity break over the weekend and during her second show on the revamped State of the World tour in Houston on Saturday night (Sept. 9) the 51-year-old singer got unexpectedly emotional. After surprising some victims of Hurricane Harvey on Friday (Sept. 8) with a surprise appearance at the George R. Brown Convention Center, Jackson dedicated Saturday's show to those affected by the massive storm.

But it was her teary-eyed response to performing the 1997 The Velvet Rope track "What About" that made headlines, as the singer broke down in tears while trying to work her way through the track with lyrics detailing an abusive relationship. Jackson, who is in the midst of a divorce from estranged husband Wissam Al Mana, father of her newborn son, Eissa, struggled to get through the lyrics to the defiant tune. 

"What about the times you yelled at me? / What about the times I cried? You wouldn't even hold me," she sang intensely. "What about those things?/ What about that, what about that? /What about the times you hit my face? /What about the times you kept on when I said, 'No more please' / What about those things?" Trying to compose herself afterwards, Jackson said, "this is me," pointing to female backup dancers who'd pantomimed abusive situations during the performance.

Watch Jackson's emotional reaction around the 3:30 mark below:

Some pics of Jackson visiting Harvey victims on Friday.