Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City was the site Saturday night for the first "mtvICON" gala, celebrating the career and pop culture influence of Janet Jackson, according to The Hollywood Reporter. T
Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City was the site Saturday night for the first "mtvICON" gala, celebrating the career and pop culture influence of Janet Jackson, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The special will air tomorrow night (March 13) on MTV.
Set in a multi-level studio with two stages and a huge video monitor, the event featured many younger acts who have been influenced by Jackson's music and videos. There were also live and taped testimonials, performances, and video packages that traced her private life and career -- from her early days on television's "Good Times," "Diff'rent Strokes," and "Fame," to her phenomenal recording career.
Rap duo Outkast opened the show with a lyrically altered version of its recent No. 1 hit, "Ms. Jackson." Those performing the honoree's songs included Destiny's Child ("Let's Wait Awhile"), Macy Gray ("Love Will Never Do (Without You)"), and modern rockers Buckcherry ("Nasty"). Aaliyah introduced a dance performance of Jackson hits featuring Pink on "Miss You Much," Usher on "Alright," and Mya on "The Pleasure Principle." All three then teamed on "Rhythm Nation," backed by a dozen dancers.
Other celebs taking part included Tyrese, Method Man, Redman, Taye Diggs, David Alan Grier, Jamie Foxx, Busta Rhymes, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, and 'N Sync.
Janet's brothers -- Marlon, Jackie, Jermaine, and Tito Jackson -- were introduced as the Jackson 5, and noted that brother Randy was under the weather and could not make the show. The artists shared memories of their littlest sister, and watched a taped message from youngest brother Michael Jackson.
The family act then introduced the guest of honor, who descended from the rafters with a pair of dancers and took the stage to perform her new single, "All For You," which debuted at No. 14 on The Billboard Hot 100 this week.
With everyone onstage dressed in all-white -- a stark contrast to Jackson's '80s videos -- the performance went smoothly until the end. The music seemed to end abruptly, and Jackson and the dancers appeared unsure of what to do next. An offstage voice was heard to say, "Let's try it again from the top." But they didn't -- and that was the show, which ended without the planned medley of Jackson's classic hits.
MTV plans to honor one artist a year with an "mtvICON" tribute. Criteria include a performer's influence on the art of music video and/or inspiring a new generation of music artists.