On Friday night, Janelle Monáe inducted pop icon Janet Jackson into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Although Jackson was present to accept the award, she did not perform, leading many to believe she declined over HBO’s involvement in the ceremony.
There may be some weight to that theory, according to sources at Variety, who suggest that Jackson refused to participate in the wake of HBO’s controversial documentary Leaving Neverland, which details alleged sexual abuse involving her late brother, Michael.
She’s hardly alone in her boycott. In February, the Jackson estate called the documentary the “most shameful episode in HBO’s history,” and even premiered two separate concert films on Jackson’s official YouTube account in direct opposition to the doc’s two-night premiere.
As of publication, however, representatives for Jackson, HBO, and the Rock Hall have not commented on any possible contentious ties between the parties or responded to any inquiries of such matter.
Nevertheless, Jackson enjoyed a spirited induction by Monáe, who called Jackson the “Queen of Black Girl Magic” and a “bold visionary, a rule breaker, a risk taker, and a boundless visual artist.” Jackson, for her part, hardly referenced her brother, opting to thank The Jackson 5, instead, by saying, “Never in a million years did I expect to follow in their footsteps… tonight your baby sister has made it.”
Ahead of her headlining performance at Glastonbury, Jackson will next head to Las Vegas for a 15-night residency celebrating her storied career and the 30th anniversary of Rhythm Nation. The production is dubbed “Metamorphosis”, and you can find tickets here. You can revisit her inimitable catalog for yourself by picking up some vinyl here.
Also joining the RRHOF this year are Radiohead, Roxy Music, Stevie Nicks, The Zombies, Def Leopard, and The Cure. Check out full coverage of the event here, and watch the full thing when it airs on HBO on Saturday, April 27th.