Mary J. Blige revealed that she only began to accept the greatness of her musical journey after being honored with the Icon Award at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards, presented by Janet Jackson.
The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul spoke to Apple Music’s Nadeska ahead of her Apple Music Live performance last week (Jul. 27). She is also celebrating the 30th anniversary of her debut album, What’s The 411?. Meanwhile, her third studio album, Share My World turns 25 this year.
After more than three decades in the industry, Mary J. Blige has finally reached a stage where she can congratulate herself on her accomplishments. “I’m super proud of myself and I’ve never thought I’d ever be able to say that in my lifetime,” she explained. “I am super proud of myself because I did a lot of work to get here. And I’m proud of my heart, I’m proud of my soul, my spirit, my work ethic, the people that I choose to be around me, the energy that I give to people, I’m proud. I’m super proud of how far I came because I come a long way.”
However, the superstar songstress couldn’t appreciate her success until she was honored with Billboard’s Icon Award.
“When I got the icon award, it all just started to register like, ‘Wow, I really did something, I really did something,’ but it’s not like I did something because I was great all the time, I did something because I was going through all types of hell all the time. And I didn’t have a choice, ” Mary recalled. She added, “I had to walk through that hell I had to watch all my business on the news. I had to listen to people laughing at me. I had to hear all this negative stuff.”
Mary J. Blige said she “had to go through all that hell in front of everybody” to create the classic songs in her catalog. “A lot of women are being more transparent because I tripped and fell a million times and got up,” she stated as per Vibe.
Mary J. Blige On Paving The Way With Her Pain
While she is still putting out great music, most recently Good Morning Gorgeous, her fourteenth studio album, Mary J. Blige recognizes her impact on the women whom she paved the way for.
“Although there’s still bad stuff happening, I have to embrace the good to get out to keep from falling back into that. So I birthed a whole lot of beautiful, amazing female R&B singers because of the trials and tribulations that I’ve gone through and the lyrics in my songs.”
Check out the interview below and stream Good Morning Gorgeous at the end of the article.