Mary J. Blige was inducted into the Apollo Theater’s legendary Walk of Fame on Friday.
At 50 years old, The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul is the youngest living artist to be honored with a spot on the Walk of Fame. “Miss Blige is more than the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, she is a multitalented artist who has paved the way for many of the artists we see today,” Apollo executive Kamilah Forbes told the waves of fans waiting outside the theater to pay homage to the R&B crooner. “None of this is possible without the fans,” Blige said. “So thank you to all the fans.”
The Bronx-born singer now joins the ranks of Aretha Franklin, Little Richard, Patti LaBelle, Quincy Jones, Ella Fitzgerald, Smokey Robinson, and The Temptations, who have all been honored with a spot on the Walk of Fame. Before Mary J. went on to be nominated for two Academy Awards and nine Grammy’s, Blige made her debut on “Showtime at the Apollo” in 1992 with a performance of “You Remind Me,” which would go on to be her first big hit.
She appeared again in 1995 and 2001, then sold out a headlining show in 2002. Needless to say, Mary J. had quite a history with the historic 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,” she said. “She is one of the defining voices of our generation,” Forbes added. “Miss Blige helped to redefine what R&B and Hip-Hop could be.”