In celebration of the 2010 Grammy Awards, Essence magazine recently hosted Essence Black Women in Music, a red-carpet reception to honor nine-time Grammy-winning music icon Mary J. Blige. The magazine’s 40th anniversary commemorative event was truly a star-studded event and attracted a specially-invited crowd of celebrities and guests to the Sunset Tower Hotel in Hollywood in celebration of “the career and accomplishments of Mary J. Blige as an influential artist, successful entrepreneur and passionate philanthropist.”
Other notable guests at the event included Taraji P. Henson, Gabrielle Union, Ludacris, Tatyana Ali, Anthony Hamilton, Melanie Fiona, Joy Bryant and Elise Neal, to name a few.
Known by many as “The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul,” Mary J. Blige is the first-ever recipient of the Essence Black Women in Music Award. Her multi-faceted career spans over 15 years, including eight multi-platinum records and over 40 million albums sold. Her recently-released ninth studio album, “Stronger With Each Tear,” reached #1 on the U.S. R&B chart.
In addition to her creative and business ventures, since 2007 Blige has used her personal story and success to inspire women through her non-profit organization FFAWN (Foundation For The Advancement of Women Now), whose mission is “to inspire women from all walks of life to gain the confidence and skills they need to reach their individual potential.”
By Ngozi Mba for Golden ICONS Inc.