This is the year of Mary J. Blige and there’s no getting around it. After most recently being honored with the Icon Award at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards and gracing the cover of TIME as one of their 100 most influential people, the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul has also received the key to Atlantic City.
On Saturday (June 4), Mayor Marty Small Sr. gifted the singer with the keys during the “Together We Rise” Inaugural Gala afterparty, which Blige hosted. “As Mayor of the great city of Atlantic City, I saw that Atlanta gave you a day, [but] I’m presenting you with a key to the city,” Mayor Small expressed. Ahead of Blige’s inaugural Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit last month, the city of Atlanta honored her with a Strength of a Woman Day commeration on May 5.
When accepting her BBMAs Icon Award, the “Real Love” singer spoke on her impact over the past three decades.
“The way the world is now, I think people think icons are born that way,” she stated. “They become a legend overnight. 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. What an icon means to me is overcoming obstacles to accomplish the unthinkable and be wildly admired for having influence over a multitude of people. And that is what I always represented.”
This latest honor comes ahead of the 30th anniversary of her debut album, What’s The 411?