Janet Jackson Opens Up About Father's Death During Performance: "He Was So Strong"

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Janet Jackson

"I didn't know what to do. I didn't know how to move forward," the singer told the crowd at Essence Fest.

While performing Sunday at Essence Fest in New Orleans, Janet Jackson reflected on the recent death of her father Joe Jackson in a heartfelt speech.

"It was really hard for me," she told the crowd about her father's passing. "I didn't know what to do. I didn't know how to move forward, if I should cancel this festival or the entire tour."

The Jackson family patriarch died June 27 following a battle with cancer. 

During the speech, Jackson detailed a conversation with her brothers about their father and his strength. "He was so strong, and without his drive, his strength ... we wouldn't have this success. We are a black family that came from Indiana and we broke all kinds of records around the globe. That's truth," the performer said.

Jackson revealed that a brother asked her if she thought her father would want her to continue the tour. She told the crowd that her father would tell her to "finish what [she'd] started."

Joe Jackson was born July 26, 1928, in Arkansas. He and wife Katherine shared 10 children together: sons Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, Brandon (Marlon's twin, who passed away shortly after birth), Michael and Randy; and daughters Rebbie, La Toya and Janet.

Joe began his kids' musical careers in the early 1960s and eventually created the Jackson 5, which consisted of Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael. Following the success of the band, the family moved from Indiana to California and created the record label Ivory Tower International Records. The artists Joe signed to the label served as opening acts for the Jackson 5 throughout their career.