On Sunday night, Mary J. Blige received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 19th annual BET Awards.

Rihanna opened up her introduction of Mary. J. Blige saying, “What’s the 411,” referencing the Queen of hip-hop soul’s debut album. “With one simple question, Uptown Records’ youngest female artist Mary J. Blige introduced herself to the world with a brand new vibe, forever aligning the worlds of hip-hop and R&B,” Rihanna said. “She changed the game with her unique sound and that Mary J. style.”

“Happy Mary, sad Mary, mad Mary, no more drama Mary, dancing Mary. We here for all of it,” Rihanna continued. Mary J. Blige took the stage to accept her award after telling Rihanna how much of a fan she was of hers.

“Praise God because, without prayer, I would not be here. I have so many people to thank tonight because when you have a lifetime of achievements there’s no way you could have done it alone. I want to thank my BET family for this honor and always supporting me,” Blige said. She then thanked her mother for her love and understanding. She also thanked her father and mentioned that she was grateful that their relationship is healed.

“To all my friends. I love you so deep,” Blige said, before thanking Diddy for believing in her when she didn’t even believe in herself. Blige also thanked Uptown Records. “People always ask how do I sustain and stay relevant in this industry. 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,” Blige said.”Being a servant is not always glamorous or popular, but it’s the job and the assignment that I was given.”

Mary J. Blige then took the night away by performing a myriad of her hits including, “My Life,” “Real Love,”  “No More Drama,” “I’m Going Down,” and “Love No Limit.” She also performed “I Can Love You” alongside Lil Kim and “I’ll Be There For You/You’re All I Need” alongside Method Man.

Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter.

Join the Family

Get Our Latest Articles in Your Inbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.