In what had to have been one of the most difficult moments in her life, the late Janet Jackson took the stage at the 2009 BET Awards to thank everyone for their prayers and support in honor of her big brother, Michael Jackson.
“My entire family wanted to be here tonight, but it was just too painful … To you, Michael is an icon; to us, Michael is family and he will forever live in all of our hearts.”
Her unexpected appearance was met with applause and a standing ovation from the teary-eyed crowd. And we’re very proud of her for being strong enough to walk out on stage, speak to millions of people and keep her composure. We know how close she and Michael were. After Janet left the stage, Ne-Yo and Jamie Foxx closed out the show with a beautiful rendition of “I’ll Be There.” Continue reading for more photos and video.
PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES / WIRE IMAGE