Photo: J Vettorino

Janet Jackson Honors Mary J. Blige At Billboard Music Awards

In a rarer-than-rare public appearance Janet Jackson paid tribute to Mary J. Blige during the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night (5.15.)

Ms Jackson received a standing ovation from the audience at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas when she walked onto the stage to present the Icon Award to Ms Blige.

In her speech about this year’s Icon Award recipient, Janet said “What makes an icon? Is it the ability to create, explore and practically pioneer an entire musical genre? Is it the amassing of millions of dedicated fans that breathe your art daily? The same fans to whom you constantly show love? Is it a multi-decade career full of not only hits but those songs that make you feel a certain way when you hear them?” “The answer is all of the above, the answer is tonight’s recipient of the 2022 Billboard Icon Award, Mary J. Blige.” 

In addition to the live recognition, Mary J. received video tributes from the likes of Missy Elliott, Queen Latifah, Taraji P. Henson and Gabrielle Union, after which she stated:

“I’m in a dream right now.” “What an icon means to me is overcoming obstacles to accomplish the unthinkable and be wildly admired for having influence over a multitude of people, and that is what I’ve always represented.” “I’ve been on this journey for a long time. One that didn’t always look the way you see me now. One that was filled with a lot of heartache and pain. But God helped me to channel those experiences and emotions into my music.”

Previous BMA Icon honorees include Pink, Stevie Wonder, Cher, Prince, Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez, with Janet accepting the honor in 2018.

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Author: Al Denté

Photo: J Vettorino