May 17, 2022
Mary J. Blige Accepts the Icon Award at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards Transcript
Icon Award recipient Mary J. Blige delivers her acceptance speech live at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards. Read the transcript here.
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Speaker 1: (00:12)
Speaker 1: (00:21)
Wow. Look, I’m in a dream right now. Thank you so much. Thank y’all, everybody. Janet Jackson, speaking of icon, you were always one of our biggest inspirations growing up. So I have a lot to say so please don’t roll the wrap it up music over my thing. So the way the world is now, I think people think icons are born that way, they become a legend overnight, but that is definitely not the case. It takes a lot of time, hard work and a lot of surviving trial and error to achieve greatness. 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, and that is what I’ve always represented.
Speaker 1: (01:45)
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, but God helped me to channel those experiences and emotions into my music, which is where I started, in music. Now, check this out. When Andre Harrell and Puff Daddy of Uptown Records introduced the queen of hip hop soul to the world. It was the beginning of a movement. Every inner city girl was recognizing their own and could relate to everything I was saying. And every female artist that came into the game wanted to do everything I was doing and still does to this day. Yeah, Yeah,
Speaker 1: (02:40)
Not done. I was ghetto fabulous and I still am. So ghetto, so fabulous. And people were threatened by that. And now everybody want to be ghetto fabulous. The message in my music has always been that we are not alone in our struggles and I’m not alone now. For so long I was searching for a real love, but I finally found my real love and that real love is me. Who’s managing Mary J. Blige now? Me.
Speaker 1: (03:40)
But listen, there’s no I in team, so I want to thank everyone on my team for helping me. First up, my almighty, my everything, my source, God. Because without his love and protection and guidance, there’s none of this. My beautiful mother and father, my big sister LaTonya for always being there for me. My baby sister, Jonquell and my baby brother, Bruce and my baby brother, Tommy, I love y’all so much and I’m so proud of you guys. My godson, Justin, I’m so proud of you and I love you so much. My amazing friends and my amazing employees and friends, Ashana A, Nicole Jackson, Eddie Fourcell.
Speaker 1: (04:32)
Andre Herrell I miss you so much and I want to thank you for coming down to those slow round projects and giving us hope and pulling me out. My big brother Puff, who continues to be one of my biggest inspirations. I love you big bro. To my sister, Misa and Puff for having the vision for our image, thank you so much. Thank you Jimmy Lovine for everything, I love you so much. To Dr. Dre and Jimmy for inviting me to perform at the Super Bowl, I’m beyond grateful. To my stepfather James, rest in peace, for delivering the tape to Jeff Red and for Jeff Red for receiving the tape. APA, my agency, my publicity team, at lead company Tri-Star, my legal team. Thank you to Courtney Kemp, 50 Cent, Kevin Laus, 300, for blessing me and taking the journey with me on this next chapter and stars. Oh, Don Pool, I love you my brother.
Speaker 1: (05:47)
Last, but definitely not least my phenomenal die hard, unbelievable fans. I love y’all so much and I’m so grateful to have you. Billboard, thank you so much for this amazing honor. I love y’all. Be blessed. Be great. Good night.