Mary J. Blige took home BET’s Lifetime Achievement award and was honored for the strides she’s made for more than two decades.
The legendary singer was honored by the network at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday. E! News reported that Blige was honored by Rihanna, who made a special appearance just to present Blige with the award. During her speech, the Fenty Beauty CEO reflected on Blige’s career. which began in the early ’90s. The “Work” singer then shared that Blige inspired her and many more women to “feel comfortable being ourselves.”
After a standing ovation from a plethora of guests in the crowd, Blige took the stage to thank her fans, family, friends, and BET for the honor. The multi-hyphenated star then shared that while she has a “lifetime of achievements,” she knows that she would be nowhere without the people who are constantly by her side.
“People always ask how do I sustain and stay relevant in this industry,” she said.
“It’s because, although I am 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. Being a servant is not always glamorous or popular but it’s a job and the assignment I was given. It’s because in order to be an authority I had to learn to come under authority. It’s because when the glory is placed on me I give it back to god immediately. This journey has always been bigger than me. My mission has not only to survive but, right now, it’s to thrive and continue to make history while I do.”
Blige also took the stage to perform some of her greatest hits with the BET stage. The singer changed out of a black and silver minidress and changed into one of her iconic looks. While wearing an all-white ensemble, paired with matching shoes and a hat, the singer performed a medley of her most popular tunes, including “Real Love,” “Loving You Everyday,” and “I Can Love You,” featuring special guest Lil’ Kim. Method Man also joined her for a performance of “You’re All I Need.”
Since gaining recognition for her music career, the “Family Affair” artist has shifted to other passions. The singer delved into acting, with projects like I Can Do Bad All by Myself, Rock of Ages, and Black Nativity, per IMDB.
Blige’s latest film role was one that caused the iconic artist to make history. The artist’s role in 2018’s Mudbound made Blige the first double nominee across the acting and music categories.
The “Be Without You” singer joins Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, and Samuel L. Jackson among other notable stars.