NEW YORK • Mary J. Blige has nine Grammy Awards, eight multi-platinum albums and two Academy Award nominations. Add to the singersongwriter's list of accolades a plaque on the Apollo Theatre's Walk of Fame.
Blige, also known as the queen of hip-hop soul with millions of fans across the globe, was inducted into the Walk of Fame last Friday just outside the legendary theatre in Harlem.
Wearing a sparkling green and black jumpsuit, Blige, 50, personally thanked her fans and announced a release date of June 25 for a new documentary that celebrates the 25th anniversary of her second album My Life (1994).
This was a return home for the star. Her career soared after her 1992 appearance on variety show Showtime At The Apollo.
"It means everything. I mean the Apollo is the most important thing to our culture as African-American artistes. If it wasn't for the Apollo, we wouldn't have a chance. People wouldn't have gotten discovered," Blige said.
"This was the first place I made it, you know, before Madison Square Garden. This is it. Without the Apollo, there is no recognising of Mary J. Blige."
Blige's music is personal. She sings about her struggles and it is all revealed in her albums - My Life, No More Drama (2001), The Breakthrough (2005) and The Journey Continues (2011).
She added that she is still on a personal journey. "I'm trying to get my own life together. It never gets easier. It just gets harder, the wiser you get. You start to realise that you're nobody's teacher, you're just a student as well."
On the Apollo Walk of Fame, Blige joins music greats including Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Ella Fitzgerald, Charlie Parker and Lionel Richie.