Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Janet Jackson was honored with the BMI Icon Award Thursday during the Broadcast Music Inc. R&B/Hip-Hop Awards.
The event, which recognizes songwriters, producers and publishers behind the year's most performed R&B and Hip-Hop songs, was held at the Woodruff Arts Center's Symphony Hall in Atlanta.
Jackson received the award after a number of tribute performances that included Jussie Smollett singing "That's the Way Love Goes," Justine Skye with "Let's Wait Awhile," Normani with "The Pleasure Principle," and Teyana Taylor with "I Get Lonely."
The performances were followed by Missy Elliot making a surprise appearance to honor Jackson with a speech.
Jackson was honored for her unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers. Previous Icon Award winners include Patti LaBelle, Nile Rodgers, Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds, James Brown, Al Green and Snoop Dogg, among others.
Other winners at the BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards inlcuded Metro Boomin winning Producer of the Year for the third year in a row and Songwriter of the Year, The Weeknd's "I Feel It Coming," written by Thomas Bangalter, and Guy Manuel de Homem-Christo of Daft Punk winning Song of the Year and Universal Music Publishing Group winning Publisher of the Year for the fourth year in a row.
Recently deceased music legend Aretha Franklin was also honored with a tribute performance by Tamela Mann who sang "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" and "You've Got a Friend."