Mary J. Blige, The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday, in recognition of her contributions and work in the music industry over the last three decades.
Surrounded by friends, family and colleagues, Blige was inducted onto the Walk of Fame by Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs, her producer and collaborated on Blige's albums What's the 411? and My Life. In his speech, Diddy explained Blige's appeal and how she has always managed to connect with her audience. “Whatever she is going through, she knows she has a responsibility to help others who are going through the same thing,” said Combs. “Mary J. Blige has saved a lot of lives. Mary J. Blige has saved a lot of broken hearts.”
Blige, who received this honor on her 47th birthday, kept it very real (as she is known to do) during her speech. "When I was a little girl, growing up in the projects I just loved to sing. And I wanted to sing because it set me free from all of the negativity and all of the confusion that was happening outside of our home." Continuing, Blige said "I’m so grateful for this star right now because I’ve earned it probably three times. I say that with confidence and not arrogance. I say it because I know that now, and I know my worth, and what this means."
The most stunning revelation during her speech was Blige admitting to being homeless last year (due to her messy divorce from Kendu Isaacs), thanking Jimmy Iovine for letting her stay in his Malibu mansion. “When all hell was turning loose in 2016 and I had to file and all of that stuff, I was homeless last year,” she Blige. “Jimmy Iovine took me in to his Malibu home, he and his beautiful wife, Liberty. I will never forget that.”
Blige also broke down when she thanked Mudbound director, Dee Rees, who convinced Blige to do the role that earned her supporting actress nominations for both a Golden Globe and Critics' Choice Award. “You really, really saved my life,” Blige said. “‘Mudbound’” opened up doors and gave me strength I didn’t even know I had.”
With all the recent honors, there is speculation that Blige will soon add another accolade to her already long list - that being an Academy Award nominee for Best Supporting Actress. Voting for Academy Award nominations ended yesterday. We'll see if Blige is among the nominees when they are announced on Jan. 23.