Embedding another gem to her Queen of Hip-Hop Soul crown, R&B iconess Mary J. Blige was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 BET Awards on Sunday (June 23).
Mary’s singing and songwriting career has soared high through several generations of music. The nine-time Grammy Award winner has racked up eight globally multi-platinum album and occupies spots among several G.O.A.T. lists, such as Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time with My Life, TIME magazine’s All-Time 100 Albums, and VH1’s list of greatest artists of all times.
In a surprise BET Awards pop-up for the occasion, Bajan beauty, music, fashion and philanthropy multi-threat Rihanna presented the award and intro to the accolade for the live audience. Riri highlighted her transcendental influence and uniquely trend-setting style, dubbing her the “undeniable” Mary J. As soon as Mary took the stage, she returned the favor to Rih, acknowledging herself as a huge fan of her music as well.
“When you have a lifetime of achievements, there’s no way you could have done it alone,” she began. “I wanna think my BET family for this honor and always supporting me.” In a more tender moment, Mary expressed love to her mother for her support even through their storms. P. Diddy and Andre Harrell were also among those she paid tribute to. “Puff, thank you for believing me more than I believed in myself.” Rightfully recognizing herself as a “living legend,” Mary left inspirational words on the stage for the audience, encouraging her fans to continue rising above.
See the internet's reaction to Queen Riri crowning Queen Mary with the award below:
(Photo: Leon Bennett/VMN19/Getty Images for BET)