Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Grammy Award-winning music legend, actress, activist and humanitarian JANET JACKSON is set to perform and receive this year’s coveted “Icon Award” during tonight’s highly anticipated Billboard Music Awards. The show airs at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.

The honor comes on the heels of Jackson turning 52-years-old last week (Wednesday May 16) and on the 25th Anniversary of her provocative and sexually charged janet. album, which debuted on May 18, 1993.

“janet. had a deeply sensual edge because that’s what I was going through in my life. I was discovering freedom in physical pleasure and loved writing about sexuality. I tried to do it subtly and tastefully, but I also wanted to push the boundaries a bit,” said Jackson during her recent Billboard interview.

Jackson also talks candidly about where she is now musically and the new artists she’s loving on the radio now like Bruno Mars, SZA, Kendrick Lamar and JCole.

“I also have a special place in my heart for Bruno Mars. Bruno was really the first music my son responded to. During and after his birth, I comforted myself with Brazilian jazz, music that always relaxes me. Then when the baby began crawling, Bruno was breaking out big and on the radio all the time. That delighted both of us. Bruno is a throwback to the days when the greatest artists could do it all: write, sing, dance, produce.”

Jackson also opens up about her new life as a single mother and the source of her drive and ambition.

“The drive is in my DNA. I couldn’t lose it if I wanted to, and I don’t. Motivation is something I treasure. Besides, for all its difficulties, this is the life I love. I’m surrounded with a team of dancers, singers and musicians I love. I’m supported by fans that have stuck by me through thick and thin. They mean the world to me. Now more than ever, performing, whether in the studio or onstage, brings me a satisfaction I find nowhere else.”

Click here to read the entire Billboard Magazine interview and check out more pics + a behind-the-scenes video below:

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