Yes Queens! Janet Jackson Presents Mary J. Blige With Her Icon Award at Billboard Music Awards

Yes Queens! Janet Jackson Attends Billboard Awards to Present Mary J. Blige With Her Icon Award

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MAY 15: Janet Jackson (L) presents Mary J. Blige (R) with the Icon Award during the 2022 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 15, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

On Sunday, Janet Jackson made a rare appearance at the Billboard Music Awards to present Mary J. Blige with the Icon Award.

Blige looked stunning in a cut-out sequined dress as she stepped on stage to accept the same award Jackson received in 2018. People reports that the nine-time Grammy Award-winning singer thanked Jackson for being the “biggest inspiration growing up,” People reports.

The 54-year-old singer shared what it takes to become a legend of her stature.

It “takes a lot of time, hard work and a lot of surviving trial and error to achieve greatness,” Blige said.

“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,” she continued.


It was more than fitting for Blige to receive the accolade the same year her good friend Sean “Diddy” Combs made his debut as the show’s host and executive producer. The Bad Boy creator escorted Blige on stage to accept her award.

“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 in my music, which is where I started in music,” Blige said.

She touched on the “movement” that started upon her inception into the music industry nearly 30 years ago, where “every inner city girl was recognized in their own and could relate to everything I was saying.”

Blige also took credit for inspiring “every female artist that came into the game” that sought to emulate her original style.

“I was ghetto fabulous and I still am,” Blige said while laughing. “So ghetto, so fabulous and people were threatened by that. And now everybody want to be ghetto fabulous.”

Blige has won 10 Billboard awards throughout her career. She is the 11th artist and seventh woman to receive the Icon Award, as noted by The Hollywood Reporter.

Previous Icon Award recipients include Neil Diamond, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion, Cher, Mariah Carey, Garth Brooks, and Pink.