Mary J. Blige (305362)
Credit: Bill Moore photo

Local legend and the Queen of Hip Hop/Soul music, Mary J. Blige, was recently honored with a spot on the prestigious sidewalk leading into Harlem’s world-famous Apollo Theater as she was inducted into their Walk of Fame. Many adoring admirers attended the ceremony, supporting the historic occasion.

“None of this is possible without the fans, so thank you to all the fans,” Blige said during Friday’s event in Harlem. “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. And from there on, it was all history, Mary J. Blige history, so, thank y’all so, so, so much for everything.”

Since her 1992 debut album, “What’s the 411” she has reigned supreme, racking up nine Grammys, numerous classic features with the “who’s who” list of hip hop’s elite—from Biggie Smalls, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Jay Z, and Smif-N-Wessun, just mentioning some. She also has two Oscar nominations for the 2017 film “Mudbound.”

Blige’s music has inspired an entire generation and withstood the test of time and still sounds current. Songs like “Not Gon Cry,” “No More Drama,” and “Family Affair” have received heavy rotation, serving as soundtracks to many people’s lives.

“She speaks from the soul. She sings from experience and her music is great, but it touches you. You can feel it. You can feel it, no matter where you’re from,” said Jacques Muna.

Born in the Bronx, raised in Yonkers, Blige reached her milestone 50th birthday this January. She initially appeared on “Showtime at The Apollo” in 1992, and has performed there numerous times since then.

“She is very deserving of this star,” a fan named Sheila stated. “Mary J. means everything to me. She is the queen of R&B right now. Her voice is wonderful, marvelous. Her songs mean so much, they saved me.”

After recording her demo tape at a karaoke machine at Westchester’s Galleria Mall, Blige was signed by Uptown Records A&R, Sean Combs. She has recorded 13 solo albums.

“I love Mary J. We actually grew up together, she was friends with my sister in Yonkers,” said fan Gee Gee Casanova. “Yes, in White Plains, they had a booth there, back in the day. We would go in there and sing.”

Social-media was lit with the news; the Apollo Theater tweeted:

“#ApolloFam, give 🙌🏾 it 🙌🏾 up!! The QUEEN OF HIP HOP SOUL, the legendary @maryjblige is now officially an #ApolloLegend!!#HarlemWorld, we THANK YOU for showing REAL LOVE and bringing family affair vibes to the original UPTOWN girl at this morning’s #ApolloWalkOfFame Induction!”

Blige has already earned her Hollywood Walk of Fame star, and is nominated for induction into the Rock Hall of Fame.

“I’ve got something special coming for y’all [on] June 25th. It’s the ‘My Life’ documentary,” she announced Friday.