Last week was a time filled with celebration for Mary J. Blige. The “Strength of a Woman” singer turned 47 on Thursday, and on that same exact day, she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The honor, as most know, was long overdue. Even Blige had to point out that after almost 30 years in the music business, nine Grammys and 13 studio albums, she’s done star-worthy work for quite some time.
“I’m so grateful for this star right now,” she said to the crowd last Thursday. “I’ve earned it probably three times, but I’m so grateful [laughs].”
But as is usually the case with Blige, she couldn’t celebrate the honor without being honest about the rough times she’s had to go through to get to such a moment. And some of her biggest struggles, according to the star, came not at the beginning of her career, but over the last few years with marital drama, financial issues and more.
“There’s been times in my career where I didn’t even want to step out of my house because I was hurt so bad,” she said.
“When all hell was turning loose in 2016 and I had to file and all of that stuff, I was homeless last year,” she added. “Jimmy Iovine took me into his Malibu home, him and his beautiful wife Liberty, and I will never forget that.”
Blige’s famous friends have stood by her through a lot, including humble beginnings. Both Andre Harrell and Diddy spoke about watching Mary grow into the superstar she’s come to be.
“We’ve been through a whole lot. We started from nothing,” Diddy said. “I used to pick Mary up from the projects. I had me a Volkswagen Rabbit. I had like two rims on it. I couldn’t afford four. I would pick her up and we would just drive down the highway in New York and just dream. We would say, ‘Man we want to be somebody. We want to be big. We want to be something for our people. We want to shake up the world.’ And we did that.”
Check out highlights from Blige’s Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony, and some tearful moments, courtesy of HipHollywood.com below: