Mary J. Blige took dwelling an particularly significant prize on the 2019 BET Awards tonight: the celebrated Lifetime Achievement Award.
The icon was launched at Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater by none apart from Rihanna, who raved of Blige’s affect on her personal profession: “On behalf of all the ladies who got here after you, like myself, thanks for being you so we may really feel comfy being ourselves.”
Whereas the gang stood and applauded, Blige took the stage and thanked BET, her household and her associates. “When you have got a lifetime of achievements,” she admitted. “There is not any means you can have finished it alone.” And to her followers, she stated, “Thanks for weathering these storms with me and rejoicing with me when I’ve a victory.”
“Individuals at all times ask how do I maintain and keep related on this business,” continued the 48-year-old legend. “It is as a result of, though I’m a frontrunner, a queen, a residing legend, though I am all this stuff, I am a servant as nicely and I am right here to serve. Being a servant will not be at all times glamorous or fashionable but it surely’s a job and the project I used to be given. It is as a result of in an effort to be an authority I needed to be taught to return below authority. It is as a result of when the glory is positioned on me I give it again to god instantly. This journey has at all times been larger than me. My mission has not solely to outlive however, proper now, it is to thrive and proceed to make historical past whereas I do.”
Blige then walked off stage for a fast outfit change—white shorts, a crop prime and thigh-high boots, after all—earlier than performing an epic medley of her biggest hits, together with “Actual Love,” “Loving You On a regular basis,” and “I Can Love You,” that includes particular visitor Lil’ Kim. Technique Man additionally joined her for a efficiency of “You are All I Want.”
All through her decades-long profession, the soul singer has not solely earned eight multi-platinum albums and bought greater than 50 million albums, however she’s additionally positioned herself as an empowering voice who has redefined the R&B and music business. Extra just lately, she made historical past on the 2018 Oscars as the primary double nominee throughout the appearing and music classes for her work in Netflix’s Mudbound.
Since its introduction in 2001, the Lifetime Achievement Award—which acknowledges veteran artists and their extraordinary contributions to music—has been bestowed upon Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Lionel Richie and Samuel L. Jackson amongst different notable stars.