Happy Super Bowl Sunday Janet Jackson Appreciation Day!
Fans of the legendary pop diva flooded Twitter with messages of love and support for Jackson, whose third studio album, “Control,” dropped 32 years ago on Sunday.
“A Queen. An Icon. Black History. Black Present. Black Future,” tweeted journalist and activist George M. Johnson.
Filmmaker and former NFL player Matthew A. Cherry initially proposed the hashtag tribute to Jackson on Friday. It quickly gained the support of thousands of fans, including her nephew Taj Jackson. By Sunday afternoon, Cherry’s original #JanetJacksonAppreciationDay tweet had over 7,000 likes.
Cherry intentionally planned for the unofficial celebration to occur on the same day Jackson’s 2004 Super Bowl halftime show co-performer Justin Timberlake would take the stage again ― this time at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for Super Bowl LII.
Jackson’s friends and family slammed the NFL for not including her in this year’s show, despite Timberlake being invited back to perform for a record-breaking third time.
The pair’s 2004 halftime show famously ended in a “wardrobe malfunction,” in which Timberlake exposed Jackson’s right nipple on national television after pulling off part of her outfit.
Jackson’s fans hoped she would make an appearance during this year’s show, but the five-time Grammy Award-winning icon squashed those rumors herself on Saturday.
Despite her expected absence at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show, Jackson’s fans did the best they could to make Sunday about her anyway.
Thousands of Twitter users, including celebrities such as Chance the Rapper and actress Laverne Cox, paid tribute to Jackson’s incomparable influence on music and culture.