Singers Janet Jackson and surprise guest Justin Timberlake HOUSTON, TX – FEBRUARY 1: Singers Janet Jackson and surprise guest Justin Timberlake perform during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXVIII between the New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers at Reliant Stadium on February 1, 2004 in Houston, Texas. At the end of the performance, Timberlake tore away a piece of Jackson’s outfit. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

Happy Super Bowl Sunday, and also, happy Janet Jackson Appreciation Day!

What? Have you never heard of this day? Let me explain.

It’s the day that Janet Jackson fans honor the singer and her music. Simple, huh? Well, it’s not actually so simple. The reason Super Bowl Sunday is also Janet’s day is because of Jackson’s Super Bowl Halftime Show halftime performance in 2004.

As many recall, at the end of her performance, Justin Timberlake ripped a piece of her clothing off to reveal her nipple on live televisionEveryone, of course, was shocked and afterward, Jackson received backlash from the NFL, CBS, and the music industry. She wasn’t allowed to perform at the Grammys a week later and has effectively been banned by the NFL ever since. 

Many thought that when Justin Timberlake was the halftime performer at the Super Bowl in 2018 he would bring Janet back on stage so that everyone could make peace and move forward, but that didn’t happen.

In fact, fans still blame Timberlake to this day for what happened, although Jackson insisted that it wasn’t his fault and that fans should back off. Many fans are angry because Jackson was vilified by the press and her career was almost ruined because of the scandal while Timberlake was forgiven and able to find success.

The Janet Jackson Appreciation Day movement was started on social media by filmmaker Matthew Cherry, who wanted to give a shout-out to Jackson and make sure she got her flowers for being the icon that she is.

So, when you see Ms. Jackson’s music trending Sunday, lift up your glass, do a little dance, and say thank you, Janet!

About Stacey Mickles

Stacey is a 1995 graduate of the University of Alabama who has previously worked for other publications such as Sportskeeda and Saturday Down South.