Rihanna Thanks BET Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Mary J. Blige For ‘Opening Doors’ For Female Artists

Rihanna speaks onstage at the 2019 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 23, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.Getty Images

On Sunday evening, the 2019 BET Awards took place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. This year, R&B legend Mary J. Blige took home the Lifetime Achievement Award, Music News reported. She was honored by “Pour It Up” singer Rihanna, who thanked Mary for opening the doors for many females like herself.

“Happy Mary. Sad Mary. Mad Mary. No more drama Mary. Dancing Mary. We’re here for all of it,” she declared.

“Mary J. Blige: you have set the bar for relatable, timeless, classic music. You opened multiple doors for female artists in this industry. And on behalf of all the women (who) came after you – like myself – thank you for being you so we can feel comfortable being ourselves.”

Rihanna also mentioned Mary’s history-making double Oscar nominations for Mudbound in 2018 — Best Supporting Actress for her role of Florence Jackson and Best Original Song for “Mighty River.”

Mary performed a medley of her hits that night, 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,” per The Inquisitr.

When accepting the award from Rihanna, Mary also expressed her love for the “Don’t Stop The Music” chart-topper.

“I don’t think you know how much I love and respect you. I’m a huge fan and you inspire me right back,” she told Rihanna.

Mary started her music career in 1992 with the release of her debut triple-platinum album, What’s The 411? In total, she has released 14 studio albums, which have all charted in the top 10 in the U.S., including My Life, No More Drama, The Breakthrough, and Strength of a Woman. Her signature singles include “Real Love,” “I’m Goin’ Down,” “No More Drama,” and “Family Affair,” which is currently her only single to top the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

She has won nine out of her 31 Grammy nominations. Her last win was in 2009, where she won in the category of Best Contemporary R&B Album for Growing Pains.

Aside from being a singing superstar, Mary also acts. Her film debut was 1992’s Prison Song, in which she played the role of Mrs. Butler. She has also starred in the following big screen movies: Rock of Ages, I Can Do Bad, All By Myself, Black Nativity, Mudbound, and Sherlock Gnomes.

That Grape Juice reported that Mary is working on a new studio album titled My Life II… There’s Something About Me, My Self & MaryJane (Act 2).

On Instagram, Mary has over 3.8 million followers.