BET announced that the Queen of R&B Mary J Blige will receive the 2019 BET Lifetime Achievement.
With her melodic sound over hip hop beats, singing her way through heartache, drug addiction, toxic relationships, but overcoming, the nine-time Grammy Award winner is more than deserving of it. I’m sure we can all agree that we can find ourselves somewhere between What’s the 411 and Strength of a Woman.
Born in the Bronx, New York, Blige began moving people with her soulful voice when she signed with Andre Harrell’s Uptown Records in 1989 at age 18, becoming the MCA-distributed label’s youngest, and first, female artist. Influenced at an early age by the music of Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan and Gladys Knight, Blige brought her own gritty, urban-rooted style — fusing hip hop, soul and honest, frank lyrics — to the forefront on her 1992 debut album “What’s the 411?” The multiplatinum set, executive produced by Sean “Diddy” Combs, quickly spun off several hits, including two R & B number ones, “You Remind Me” and “Real Love.”
Blige helped redefine R & B and began forging a unique niche for herself on her more personal second album, 1994’s “My Life.” Blige is an artist who uses her gift of song to lift spirits and touch lives while bringing her heart, soul and truth to those who are willing to listen. She is loved for her passionate, chart-topping hits like “Be Without You,” “No More Drama” and “Family Affair,” each of which have made her a force in music.
The Bronx native landed on the scene in 1992 with her debut album What’s the 411 that would later chart as 3x’s platinum. She would eventually have her bouts with depression, drugs, and a chaotic divorce from Kendu Isaacs in 2017, but overcame it all and came out on top 13 albums later.
She can now add this award to her accolades, including being nominated for two Academy Awards and a SAG nod.
Among others honored are Tyler Perry (Icon Award), Nipsey Hussle (Humanitarian Award), and Pan-African activist, Chakabars (Global Good Award).
The BET Awards take place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, on Sunday, June 23, at 8:00 EST.