If Janet Jackson’s appearance at Saturday’s Soul Train Music Awards is any indication, expect her to be fully dressed but unapologetic when she embarks on her TV blitz next week to promote her new album ”Damita Jo.” Wearing a cleavage-baring but apparently sturdy white gown, Jackson marked her first TV appearance since her Super Bowl ”wardrobe malfunction” at the 18th annual awards broadcast (which aired in syndication), where she was named one of two winners of the Quincy Jones Award for Outstanding Career Achievements. (The other was fellow scandal-sheet fixture R. Kelly.)
In her speech, she made an oblique reference to her recent travails, telling her fans: ”You’ve been there for me during the good times as well as the bad, and you’ve lifted me up with your love. Your love and support has always been a great source of comfort, especially in these last few weeks.” She marveled at having lasted 30 years in show business, saying: ”I’m convinced that we black women possess a special, indestructible strength that allows us to not only get down but to get up, to get through and to get over,” before the canned orchestra played her off the stage.
As for other prizewinners, the podium looked a lot like last month’s Grammys. OutKast, who came into the show already having been named Sammy Davis Jr. Entertainers of the Year, male winners OutKast won two additional awards (Best Album, for ”Speakerboxxx/The Love Below,” and the Michael Jackson Award for Best Video, for ”Hey Ya!”), and female winner Beyoncé won one additional prize, Best Album (Female) for ”Dangerously In Love.” Kelly won Best Album (Male) for ”Chocolate Factory.” Grammy favorite Luther Vandross earned Best Single (Male) for ”Dance With My Father.” Other winners included Floetry, Chingy, the recently-split B2K, gospel artist Byron Cage, and Alicia Keys, who also cohosted the event with Kenneth ”Babyface” Edmonds.