Mary J. Blige‘s icon status was made official at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards.
The Power Book II: Ghost star was honored with the BBMAs’ coveted Icon Award during Sunday’s ceremony on NBC.
And who better to receive such a title? Blige boasts an incredible 10-for-10 record at the BBMAs, having won every trophy for which she has ever been nominated, including Female Artist of the Year in 2006.
“The way the world is now, I think people think icons are born that way, that they become a legend overnight,” Blige began. “But that is definitely not the case. It takes a lot of time, hard work, and a lot of surviving trial and error to achieve greatness. Being an icon to me means overcoming obstacles to accomplish the unthinkable and being wildly admired for having an influence over a multitude of people — and that is what I’ve always represented.”
The fact that Janet Jackson made a rare TV appearance to present Blige with the award was merely the cherry on top of this musical sundae. “You were always one of our biggest inspirations growing up,” Blige told her.
janet jackson you will always be famous pic.twitter.com/fg9gTpDZqV
— digi 📀📀 (@DGTHEHOST) May 16, 2022
Recent recipients of the BBMAs’ Icon Award include Pink (2021), Garth Brooks (2020), Mariah Carey (2019), Janet Jackson (2018), Cher (2017) and Celine Dion (2016). Icons, all.
In addition to Blige, this year’s line-up of performers also includes Becky G, Burna Boy, Dan + Shay, Ed Sheeran, Elle King, Florence + the Machine, Latto, Machine Gun Kelly, Maxwell, Megan Thee Stallion, Miranda Lambert, Morgan Wallen, Rauw Alejandro, Silk Sonic and Travis Scott. The Red Hot Chili Peppers were originally scheduled to perform, but the band had to back out “due to unforeseen circumstances” less than a week before the big show.
There are also big names stepping up to the podium to hand out trophies. This year’s list of presenters includes Anthony Anderson, Anitta, Chloe Bailey, Dixie D’Amelio, DJ Khaled, Dove Cameron, Giveon, Heidi Klum, Liza Koshy, Michael Bublé, Pusha T, Teyana Taylor and Tiffany Haddish.
As for the actual awards, The Weeknd led the pack this year, entering the ceremony with a whopping 17 nominations. Doja Cat followed closely behind with 14 nominations, while Justin Bieber, Kanye West and Olivia Rodrigo all received 13 nods.