The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, Mary J. Blige, was honored with the 2022 Billboard Icon Award at this year’s ceremony.
The icon has won 11 Billboard awards, nine Grammys, and has sold 75 million records worldwide. Blige received the award from pop superstar and 2018 Billboard Icon recipient Janet Jackson.
“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,” expressed Blige in a press statement per Vibe. “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.”
The “Icon Award” which was established in 2011 has only honored 10 artists with the award. Blige is the 11th artist to be honored following Neil Diamond, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion, Cher, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Garth Brooks, and P!NK.
The 2022 Billboard Music Awards aired Sunday, May 15 on NBC at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.