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Mary J. Blige honored by Vibe at pre-Grammy party
“She’s a musical soulmate, she’s my sister, she’s one of my best friends in the world,” said Diddy, who has worked with Blige since the beginning of her career. “Mary is our queen. … There is no one to come after her.”
Blige was feted during Vibe’s first Impact Awards, which coincided with the magazine’s 20th anniversary. The event included guests like MC Lyte, Jermaine Dupri and Queen Latifah. Blige appeared to wipe away tears at moments as she was lauded by one guest after another.
“Mary walked in and she was so sweet … and so respectful and totally melted me right there,” he said.
“That kind of generosity is non-existent in our business,” said Baker, who is nominated for a Grammy at Sunday’s awards. “This Grammy nomination that I have is in great part because you spoke my name into the 21st century.”
“For me when I look back at you and the journey you’ve taken, I find you to be extremely inspirational and aspirational, especially to young women,” Latifah said.
When Blige got up to accept her honor, she thanked everyone for embracing her throughout her career, even during her very public missteps. She also thanked people for accepting her imperfections. She recounted a story about being sent to charm school early in her career by handlers who thought she needed to smooth over her rough edges. But Blige was not a good student.
“I just walked out and I never went back,” Blige said. “I’m glad I didn’t go back because I don’t think that I would have had an impact on anyone’s life had I lived someone else’s life.”
Blige recently starred as Betty Shabazz, the widow of Malcolm X, in the Lifetime movie “Betty & Coretta” co-starring Angela Bassett.
Follow Nekesa Mumbi Moody on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nekesamumbi
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