Mary J. Blige on Receiving Icon Award at Billboard Music Awards 2022

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At the 2020 Billboard Music Awards—held at MGM Garden Area in Las Vegas on May 15—legendary singer-songwriter Mary J. Blige received the honorary Icon Award. 

Before Mary accepted her honor, a video tribute highlighting the 10-time BBA winner’s nearly 30-year career played, featuring testimonials from the likes of Taraji P. Henson, Missy Elliot, Gabrielle Union, H.E.R. and Queen Latifah.

Mary then took to stage in a sparkly cut-out mini-dress as former Icon Award recipient Janet Jackson presented her with her trophy.

“The way the world is now, I think people think icons are born that way, but that is definitely not the case,” Mary began her acceptance speech. “It takes a lot of time, hard work, and a lot of survive and trial and error to achieve greatness.”

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

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