Tonight (May 15), R&B living legend Mary J. Blige was honored with the Icon Award at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards.
The one and only Janet Jackson presented the singer with the coveted award saying that Blige’s music brings “comfort” and “truth.” A video highlight then played showcasing the legend’s contributions to the culture.
Once the video highlight video with words from artists like Queen Latifah and Missy Elliot ended, Blige graced the stage to speak about her achievement.
“Wow. Look, I’m in a dream right now. Thank you so much,” the singer said. She went on to speak about hard work, trial and error.
“For so long I was searching for my real love,” she added. “And that love is me,” Blige said. She thanked Diddy, the late Andre Harrell and others for helping her with her career along the way.
Blige is the eleventh artist to receive the Icon Award. She joins the ranks of Stevie Wonder, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey and the late Prince. The award recognizes outstanding artists who have achieved excellence on the Billboard charts that have made a mark in the music industry.
It’s been a huge year for Blige. On February 13, the “Family Affair” singer was joined by hip hop legends Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent and Eminem for the 2022 Super Bowl halftime show.
Just days before, on February 11, she released her fourteenth studio album, Good Morning Gorgeous.
During her three-day inaugural “Strength of a Woman Festival” in Atlanta on May 6-8, the star was honored with her very own day in the city. City Councilwoman Keisha Sean Waites presented the award to the “Not Gon’ Cry” singer. Kandi Burruss, 2 Chainz, Misa Hylton and music exec Kenny Burns were there to witness the honor.
The singer partnered with Pepsi and Live Nation Urban for the festival that featured an evening of comedy shows and a women’s empowerment summit.
In preparation for tonight’s show, Blige’s industry peers posted videos singing her praises.
“Mary J. Blige. What can I say about one of my closest and dearest friends?” Taraji P. Henson started. “Just glad that we met this lifetime.”
Henson added, “All my favorite memories of Mary is when we get together cause we have a ball and we laugh.” Next, she shared with viewers that her all-time favorite Blige song is “My Life.”
H.E.R. also shared a few special words. “I’ll never forget one of the first times I heard Mary and I heard her version of ‘Sweet Thing’ live. And I remember my friend had to like Bluetooth it to my phone and I was obsessed.” She continued, “I was in the third grade listening to her version of ‘Sweet Thing’ over and over and over again and I used to perform it. But to now have a song with her is insane.”
Congrats to the Queen on her award.