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, 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. 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” she said.
Blige’s longtime friend and mentor, rap mogul Sean Combs, joined the unveiling where he said, “this is about our sister getting her star, her true recognition. But this thing is also about family. We’ve been through a whole lot. We started from nothing. I used to pick Mary up from the projects. I had me a Volkswagen Rabbit. I had two rims on it because I couldn’t afford four we would just drive down the highway in New York, and we would just dream. We would say, ‘We wanna be somebody. We wanna be big, we wanna be something for our people. And we wanna come and shake up the world.’ And we did that.
Blige has recorded eight multi-platinum albums and sold more than 50 million copies. She’s received 31 Grammy nominations over the course of her 25-year career. She is currently starring in the big screen drama “Mudbound.