She was bestowed the honor by former icon award recipient, Janet Jackson. The event took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The ‘No More Drama’ singer earned standing ovations before, during and after her acceptance speech which was honest and untamed. “The way the world is now, I think people think icons are born that way, they become a legend overnight. But that’s definitely not the case,” she said, telling the audience, “God helped me to channel those emotions and experiences into my music,” of her 30 year career, which has come with hard work, trials and errors that she credits for her steady rise.
Legendary entertainer, Janet Jackson said Blige represents truth, describing her as an indisputable icon.“Her work has always given us comfort because she sings me, she sings you,” said Jackson.
Blige is the 11th artist to receive the Icon Award, which recognizes outstanding artists who have achieved excellence on the Billboard charts and have made an indelible mark on music itself. The previous Icon Award recipients have been Neil Diamond, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion, Cher, Mariah Carey, Garth Brooks, P!NK and Jackson.