Mary J. Blige to receive Billboard Icon Award

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Mary J. Blige [Will Sterling]

Actor, two-time Oscar nominee and global music superstar Mary J. Blige will receive the Billboard Icon Award at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards, airing live coast-to-coast May 15 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on NBC.

As a part of the recognition, Blige will perform on the awards show, which will stream live on Peacock, according to a news release.

A nine-time Grammy Award winner, Blige joins just 10 other artists to ever receive the prestigious Billboard Icon Award, which recognizes outstanding musicians who have achieved excellence on the Billboard charts and have made an indelible mark on music itself. Since the award’s inauguration in 2011, past recipients include Neil Diamond, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion, Cher, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Garth Brooks and P!NK.

“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,” said Blige 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.”

Also an actor who has appeared in “Respect,” “Rock of Ages” and “The Umbrella Academy,” Blige received two Oscar nominations for her work on the film “Mudbound,” for best supporting actress and for best original song.

The “Queen of Hip-Hop Soul” has earned 10 Billboard Music Award wins in total, nine of which she won when she dominated the 2006 award show. Her past awards include R&B Album of the Year (1995); Female R&B/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year (2006); Hot 100 Airplay Song of the Year (2006); R&B Albums Artist of the Year (2006); R&B/Hip-Hop Album of the Year (2006); R&B/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year (2006); R&B/Hip-Hop Song Airplay of the Year (2006); R&B/Hip-Hop Song of the Year (2006); R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Artist of the Year (2006); and Videoclip of the Year (2006).

Blige’s next acting role is a voice part in Netflix’s upcoming live action/computer animated series “Lost Ollie,” which also will feature the talents of Jonathan Groff, Tim Blake Nelson, Gina Rodriguez, Jake Johnson and Kesler Talbot.

The documentary “Mary J. Blige’s My Life,” directed by Vanessa Roth and marking the 25th anniversary of Blige’s 1994 studio album “My Life,” is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

-BAM

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