Mary J. Blige thinks she's both a "queen" and a "servant".

Mary J Blige

Mary J Blige

The 48-year-old star was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 BET Awards on Sunday (23.06.19) and gave a passionate speech about the importance of faith and recognising her place on her own "journey".

She said: "People always ask how do I sustain and stay relevant in this industry.

"It's because, although I am a leader, a queen, a living legend, although I'm all these things, I'm a servant as well and I'm here to serve.

"Being a servant is not always glamorous or popular but it's a job and the assignment I was given. It's because in order to be an authority I had to learn to come under authority. It's because when the glory is placed on me I give it back to god immediately.

"This journey has always been bigger than me. My mission has not only to survive but, right now, it's to thrive and continue to make history while I do."

The 'Mudbound' actress also thanked BET, her family and her friends because she recognised the importance of their support.

She said: "When you have a lifetime of achievements. There's no way you could have done it alone."

And to her fans, she added: "Thank you for weathering these storms with me and rejoicing with me when I have a victory."

Mary had been introduced to the stage at Los Angeles' Microsoft Theater by Rihanna, who praised the singer for her influence on her own career.

She said: "Mary J. Blige, you have set the bar for relatable, timeless, classic music/

"You opened multiple doors for female artists in this industry. And on behalf of all the women that came after you, like myself, thank you for being you so we can feel comfortable being ourselves.

"Thank you for pouring yourself into every track and giving us a song for every feeling. Thank you for showing us that love is all that we need. But we didn't know how much we needed you."

After accepting the award, the 'Family Affair' hitmaker left the stage for a costume change and returned for a medley of her songs including 'Real Love', 'Loving You Everyday', 'I Can Love You' - on which Lil' Kim made an appearance, and 'You're All I Need' with Method Man.

Elsewhere at the ceremony - which was hosted by Regina Hall - Cardi B scooped both Best Female Hip-Hop Artist and Album of the Year for 'Invasion of Privacy', while the late Nipsey Hussle was honoured with Best Male Hip-Hop Artist and a special Humanitarian Award.

'BlacKkKlansman' was named Best Movie and Best Actor and Actress went to Michael B. Jordan and Regina King respectively.

BET Awards 2019 list of winners:

Video of the Year:

Childish Gambino, 'This Is America'

Best Female R&B/Pop Artist:

Beyoncé

Best Male R&B/Pop Artist:

Bruno

Best Female Hip-Hop Artist:

Cardi

Best Male Hip-Hop Artist:

Nipsey Hussle

Best New Artist:

Lil Baby

Best Group:

Migos

Best Collaboration:

Travis Scott featuring Drake, 'Sicko Mode'

Album of the Year:

Cardi B, 'Invasion of Privacy'

Viewers' Choice Award:

Ella Mai, 'Trip'

Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational Award:

Snoop Dogg featuring Rance Allen, 'Blessing Me Again'

Best Actress:

Regina King

Best Actor:

Michael B. Jordan

Best Movie:

'BlacKkKlansman'

Young Stars Award:

Marsai

Sportswoman of the Year:

Serena Williams

Sportsman of the Year:

Stephen Curry

BET HER Award:

H.E.R., 'Hard Place

Video Director of the Year:

Karena Evans

Best International Act:

Burna Boy (Nigeria)

Sho Madjozi (South Africa)


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