“Prepare the stage for the Queen…of hip hop soul… All hail the Queen! Miss Mary J. Blige…”
It is pretty challenging to find the right words to encompass all that is Mary J. Blige. She is the Queen of Hip Hop soul, the woman who can do anything she puts her mind to. A woman of colour from whose life every other little girl strengthens her hopes and dreams. She is an artist who has sold over 80 million records, 13 studio albums, won 9 Grammy Awards and 12 Billboard Music Awards. With her varied music, her soulful voice is the perfect blanket of comfort, from lost love to celebrating oneself with all its complications, Mary J. Blige has sung it all. In the end, she is a balm to our soul.
“What’s the 411?”
Just as Mary J. Blige’s, the youngest and the first female artist under the label Uptown Records in 1982, began her career with the release of her first studio album What’s the 411? , it comes as no surprise when Rihanna while presenting the award for the BET Lifetime Achievement Award started with it.
Her fashion sense- the hoops, thigh high boots, baggy clothes- her style, the very unique texture of her voice, and the first artist to be nominated for her acting and song in the same year; this is the gist of all that Rihanna includes while giving the Queen of Hip Hop and R&B the BET 2019 Lifetime Achievement Awards.
To quote Rhianna,” Happy Mary. Sad Mary. Mad Mary. No more drama, Mary. Dancing Mary. We’re here for all of it.… on behalf of all the women who came after you, like myself. Thank you for being you so we could feel comfortable being ourselves. Thank you for pouring your soul into every track and giving us a song for every feeling. Thank you for showing us that love is all that we need. But we didn’t know how much we actually needed you.”
Mary J. Blige:
In a moving speech to convey her gratitude, Mary J. Blige says, “People always ask, how do I sustain and stay relevant in this industry? It’s because, although I am a leader, a queen, and a living legend. … I’m a servant as well, and I’m here to serve. Being a servant is not always glamorous or popular, but it’s the job and the assignment that I was given. It’s because, to be an authority, I had to learn how to come under authority because when the glory is placed on me I give it back to God immediately. This journey has always been bigger than me and my mission is not only to survive right now, it’s to thrive and continue to make history while I do it.”