How often do you remind yourself that Mary J. Blige is the first person in the history of time to receive an acting and music Oscar nom in the same year? That year was 2017, for Mudbound and “Mighty River,” and it’s just one of the many accomplishments Rihanna highlighted on the BET Awards stage while presenting Blige with a Lifetime Achievement Award Sunday night. “Happy Mary. Sad Mary. Mad Mary. No More Drama Mary. Dancing Mary. We’re here for all of it,” said Rihanna. “Mary J. Blige, you have set the bar for relatable, timeless, classic music. You opened multiple doors for female artists in this industry. On behalf of all the women who came after you, like myself, thank you for being you, so we can feel comfortable being ourselves.”
In her acceptance speech, the “No More Drama” singer replied, “I don’t think you know how much I love and respect you. I’m a huge fan and you inspire me right back,” before thanking BET, her family and “one of my biggest inspirations” Diddy. “Although I am a leader, a queen, a living legend,” said Blige with a joking smile. “Although I am all those things, I’m a servant as well and I’m here to serve.”
And serve she did, reminding you of all the hits she delivered over the course of her career, performing a sweeping medley of “My Life,” “No More Drama,” “I’m Going Down,” “Real Love,” “You Remind Me,” “Love No Limit,” “I Can Love You” with Lil Kim and “You’re All I Need to Get By” with Method Man. Watch the full performance, and consider the achievement, below.