Mary J. Blige received a massive honor during the Billboard Music Awards ceremony on Sunday.
Blige was introduced by a surprise appearance from Janet Jackson, who asked the audience, “What defines an icon?”
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“What an icon means to me is overcoming obstacles to accomplish the unthinkable and be wildly admired for having influence over a multitude of people, and that is what I’ve always represented,” Blige said. “I’ve been on this journey for a long time. One that didn’t always look the way you see me now. One that was filled with a lot of heartache and pain. But God helped me to channel those experiences and emotions into my music.”
Throughout his career, Blige has had four No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200, and topped the Billboard Hot 100 number-one with her single, “Family Affair.” She’s also responsible for the hits “Real Love”, “Not Gon’ Cry”, “Be Without You,” and more.
Blige has also appeared in several films and was even nominated for an Oscar for her performance on screen in 2017’s Mudbound.
“I was ghetto fabulous and I still am,” said Blige “So ghetto and so fabulous and people were threatened by that. Now, everybody wants to be ghetto fabulous.”
Check out Blige’s acceptance speech below.