Janet Jackson lost her father less than two weeks ago, but she decided to stay strong and perform at the Essence Fest in New Orleans over the weekend.

During her set, the pop icon explained her decision to perform through her heartache.

"It was really hard for me," Jackson told the crowd. "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." She got choked up while discussing a conversation she had with one of her brothers that encouraged her to perform.

They talked about their father's 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," she said, before revealing that after thinking about what he'd tell her to do, she knew he'd say "finish what [she'd] started."

Watch a clip of her heartfelt speech below.

Joe Jackson died on June 27 after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 89 years old. The music world gave an outpouring of love to the producer/manager/Jackson family patriarch upon his passing.

 

Janet Jackson's Style through the Years:

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