Janet Jackson is getting political on her new world tour by highlighting the need to crack down on domestic terrorism across the U.S.
The new mum kicked off her State of the World Tour in Lafayette, Louisiana on Thursday night (07Sep17) and opened the show with a powerful video message, which began by naming the likes of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Jonathan Ferrell, unarmed black men who were all killed at the hands of police in recent years.
The short film then featured the voices of various broadcasters and TV personalities addressing issues like white supremacy, white privilege, and racial inequality, with one reporter stating, "Between 2001 and now, we've seen three times more deaths caused by right wing extremists than Islamic terrorists."
Protesters could then be heard repeatedly chanting, "We want justice", as the music for Janet's 1989 track The Knowledge began blaring out of the speakers at the Cajundome arena, signalling the superstar's impending stage arrival.
The choice of opening song, a socially conscious tune which calls out prejudice, ignorance, and bigotry, was particularly special for fans as Janet hasn't performed The Knowledge, or her follow-up track State of the World, since 1990.
The singer went on to belt out hits including Nasty, Alright, Control, When I Think of You, All for You, and Rhythm Nation.
The State of the World Tour will continue on Saturday (09Sep17) in Houston, Texas, after Janet insisted the show would go on despite the fact residents in the city are still recovering from the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey late last month (Aug17).
She previously announced plans to arrive in the city early so she can meet victims of the natural disaster and help with relief efforts.
In a video posted on Twitter on Wednesday (06Sep17), Janet told fans, "I know that there have been rumours on whether we were gonna do the show in Houston. I'm here to tell you that we are doing the show in Houston. But we're gonna roll in early because we want to visit some of the shelters. We also want to do something special for the victims. So I will see you Friday."