Mary J. Blige showed the audience at the BET Awards why she was "a leader, a queen, a living legend" when she accepted her Lifetime Achievement Award and gave a powerful performance on stage.
Mary J. Blige was the woman of the hour in the recently concluded BET Awards. She was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award and she dazzled the audience with her show-stopping performance.
Blige was introduced by no less than Rihanna who lauded her for charting the path for female artists.
“You have set the bar for relatable, timeless, classic music," the singer said. “You opened multiple doors for female artists in this industry.”
In the next part of her introduction, Rihanna spoke in behalf of other singers in thanking Blige.
“Thank you for being you so we can feel comfortable being ourselves. Thank you for pouring yourself 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 needed you.”
“Although I’m a leader, a queen, a living legend… Although I’m all these things, I’m a servant as well and I’m here to serve,
Blige took the stage to accept her award looking fabulous with her voluminous blonde hair. She even joked about it by saying, “I know, a lot of hair” but reasoned, “It’s a big day.”
In her speech, the Queen of R&B Soul thanked several people including her mother who was teary-eyed in the audience. She especially mentioned P.Diddy “for believing in me more than I believe in myself.” Then she thanked her fans.
“To my fans — words cannot express how grateful I am and thankful to have you in my life. Thank you for weathering these storms with me and rejoicing when I have victory.”
"...when the glory is placed on me, I give it back to God.”
“Although I’m a leader, a queen, a living legend… Although I’m all these things, I’m a servant as well and I’m here to serve,” Blige continued amid cheers from the audience. “Being a servant is not always glamorous or popular, but it’s the job and the assignment that I was given. Because in order to become an authority, I had to come under authority. It’s because, when the glory is placed on me, I give it back to God.”
As if her speech wasn’t powerful enough, Blige generated more energy by performing her greatest hits on stage. Dressed in her trademark white short shorts, backward-worn baseball cap, and thigh-high boots, the 48-year-old delivered a medley of her chart-toppers beginning with “My Life,” “No More Drama,” and “I’m Going Down.” As dancers joined her, she shifted to the upbeat sound of “Real Love,” “You Remind Me,” and “Love No Limit.”
At that point, Lil Kim met her on stage for “I Can Love You,” followed by Method Man who sang “You’re All I Need to Get By” with her. She wrapped up her powerful performance with “Just Fine,” driving the crowd to groove with her.
Though the light shined on Blige that night, she wasn’t the only woman who drew a lot of attention. Cardi B proved victorious after winning the Album of the Year award and besting the likes of Beyonce and Jay-Z. Blige expressed her support for the singer despite many questioning her win. She told TMZ at the end of the night that Cardi deserved it. “She’s amazing. God bless Cardi,” she said.
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