The queen of hip-hop soul and multi-platinum singer Mary J. Blige became a part of Harlem history after she was inducted into the Apollo Theater’s historic Walk of Fame on Friday (May 28).
While the iconic theater will not open its doors for live performances until January, fans of Blige flocked to 125th street to watch the prolific performer speak at the plaque unveiling ceremony.
Blige joins a legendary class of inductees including Aretha Franklin, Patti Labelle, Ella Fitzgerald, Smokey Robinson, and most recently, the original Temptations.
“Miss Blige is more than the queen of hip-hop soul, she is a multi-talented artist who has paved the way for many of the artists we see today,” said Apollo producer Camila Forbes.
“None of this is possible without the fans, so thank you to all the fans,” Blige added.
Blige first graced the Apollo stage in 1992 with a performance of “You Remind Me,” and went on to appear on the hit series Showtime at the Apollo in 1995 and 2001, along with a sold-out solo concert in 2002 at the storied theater.
“My very first time performing here at the Apollo I was not on stage as myself, I was on stage singing background for Jeff Redd and from there on it was all history, Mary J. Blige history,” she said.
The R&B star, actress, and mogul has no shortage of accolades to her name. During the course of her career, she has notched eight multi-platinum albums, nine Grammy Awards (and 32 nominations), two Academy Award nominations, two Golden Globe nominations, and a SAG nomination.
Blige’s incredible career and life will be the subject of an upcoming documentary that will premiere on Amazon on June 25.
The film chronicles the Grammy-winning singer as she preps for the 25th-anniversary tour of her breakthrough sophomore album My Life.
Blige will also be on the big screen this summer, playing Dinah Washington in the forthcoming Aretha Franklin biopic Respect, starring Jennifer Hudson, that will hit theaters on August 13.
Check out all of Mary J. Blige’s discography on vinyl.