Grammy award-winning singer and actress Mary J. Blige has a received a much deserved star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in the category of Recording, this Thursday.
The star, who also celebrated her 47th birthday that same day, was all smiles as she received the award in a chic black pantsuit.
Founder of Uptown Records, Andre Harrell, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs and Los Angeles City Councilman, Mitch O’Farrell served as guest speakers during the ceremony.
Harrell, who signed Blige to Uptown Records when she was just 18 in 1989 said,
“I am feeling like a proud musical father, Mary receiving a star in the Walk of Fame, is like black women and little girls from around the world with a dream also receiving one.”
Harrell reflected on the first time he heard Blige’s voice.
“I remember asking, ‘Who is this young girl singing with all this emotion and pain.’ I still remember the expression on your face when i told you your voice would sing with rock legends; that your voice would change your life and make you royal.”
Sean Combs also had a few words for the honorary star, saying that through her music she has saved a lot of lives.
“We have been through a whole lot. We started from nothing. What makes Mary special, she moves people not just with her voice but with who she is. She pours everything into a record and into a performance. Whatever she is going through, she knows she has a responsibility for those going through the sam thing.”
During the emotional ceremony, Blige recalled her childhood in the projects in New York and the big dreams that helped her become the star she is today.
“I loved to sing,” said Blige. “It set me free from all of the negativity and all of the confusion happening outside of our home.”
“God gave me the strength to keep steppin’ and keep my head up regardless of what anybody thought about me, regardless of what anybody said about me,” she continued. “I see myself clear and it’s not all pretty, but I accept the beautiful mess that I am because it’s an imperfect me, still learning, still growing, still Mary though.”
The ceremony was well attended by moguls including like Jimmy Iovine, Terry Lewis, and the writer and director of Netflix hit ‘Mudbound’ Dee Rees.
“I’m so grateful for this star right now because I’ve earned it probably three times,” said Blige. “I say that with confidence and not arrogance. I say it because I know that now, and I know my worth, and what this means.”
Blige took a moment to specially acknowledge Dee Rees.
“You really, really saved my life,” Blige said. “‘Mudbound’” opened up doors and gave me strength I didn’t even know I had.”
Blige has had a continuous stream of musical successes from her 1992 debut “What’s The 411” to her 2005 hit “Be Without You”. She has also won nine Grammy awards and has sold over 50 million albums worldwide.