The queen of hip hop soul will be crowned again at this year’s BET Awards.
The network announced on Wednesday that Mary J. Blige will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award on June 23 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles during its live telecast of the 19th annual awards ceremony, hosted by actress Regina Hall.
A nine-time Grammy Award winning, two-time Academy Award nominated, multi-platinum-selling singer, songwriter and actress, the Bronx native is expected to be on hand to receive the honor, as artists perform an all-star tribute commemorating her 25-plus-year career.
“Mary J. Blige is one of the defining voices of black culture, entertainment and the contemporary music era,” BET programming chief Connie Orlando told the Daily News. “Over her landmark career, she has become a figure of inspiration, transformation and empowerment through her philanthropic efforts and groundbreaking achievements as an entertainer.”
Previous recipients of the prestigious award include the greatest of the greats of black entertainment: Prince, Diana Ross, New Edition, Samuel L. Jackson, Patti LaBelle, along with Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson and Chaka Khan — all of whom have collaborated with Blige.
“Mary’s powerful voice, eloquent lyrics, and profound stage presence has made her one of the most well-respected artists of today, encouraging the next generation of strong, black female creatives to stand up and be heard,” Orlando continued. “We’re honored to celebrate her with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Blige’s stellar music career dates back to the early 1990s with breakout hit songs including “Real Love,” “You Remind Me (Reminisce)” and her cover of Rose Royce’s 1970s classic “I’m Going Down.” Since then, she’s blossomed into one of the biggest music forces of her generation — with a strong connection to black female fans. Her crossover songs include the Billboard chart-toppers “Family Affair” and “Be Without You” and the Michael Jackson-influenced “Just Fine.”
As an actress, the two-time Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards nominee’s credits include “Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad By Myself” and Shonda Rhimes’ “How to Get Away with Murder.” Blige also made Academy Award history in 2018 as the first double nominee in the best supporting actress and best song categories for her work on “Mudbound.”
In May, Blige released the new buzz single “Thriving” — a duet with Nas after teasing it in April on social media.