Mary J. Blige to receive Icon Award at Billboard Music Awards

The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul becomes the 11th artist to be honored with the Icon Award.

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Mary J. Blige will receive a special honor at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards (BBMA). NBC announced on Thursday that the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul will not only receive the distinguished Icon Award during the ceremony but also take the stage to perform.

Blige has earned the Icon Award in recognition of her excellent achievement on the Billboard charts and her mark on music throughout her career. She’s won 10 BBMAs — nine in 2006 — stemming from her smash album The Breakthrough. Some of the awards she took home that year include R&B/Hip-Hop Album of the Year, R&B/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year, and R&B/Hip-Hop Song of the Year for “Be Without You.”

Mary J Blige Credit: Will Sterling

“My career has been such an incredible and unexpected journey that has included many turns into avenues I never could have imagined like acting, producing, launching businesses, and now even my own music festival,” Blige said in a statement. “Through it all, I always one way or another gravitated back to my first love, music. To be recognized in this way at this moment, with the Icon Award at the Billboard Music Awards, is an incredible honor and one that I am truly humbled by.”

Along with her 10 BBMA wins, Blige has had massive success on the Billboard charts since her 1992 solo debut, What’s The 411.

She’s had 23 Top 10 Billboard R&B singles, including five no. 1’s; “You Remind Me,” “Real Love,” “Not Gon’ Cry,” “Family Affair,” and “Be Without You.” All but one of her studio albums have peaked in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart. Four of those albums reached #1 — Share My World, Love & Life, The Breakthrough, and Growing Pains.

Blige becomes the 11th recipient of the BBMA Icon Award since it was first introduced in 2011. Past winners include Neil Diamond, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion, Cher, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Garth Brooks, and P!NK.

The 2022 BBMAs will air live on NBC on Sunday, April 15, 8 p.m.. EST from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

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