Mary J. Blige had two things to celebrate Thursday: her 47th birthday and receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
During the ceremony, the singer and star of Mudbound gave a passionate testimony, recalling how singing as a child became her refuge in a dangerous environment.
She said, “When I was a little girl growing up in the projects, I just loved to sing. And I wanted to sing because it set me free from all of the negativity and all of the confusion that was happening outside of our home…we had love in our home.”
“But when we stepped out that door, it was hell. And we learned how to survive.”
The “Love Yourself” singer also praised her mother, calling her “a survivor” who raised her and her two siblings on her own while holding down three jobs.
In addition, Mary recalled what kept her going through tough times as an adult.
“I wanna thank God for this moment…There’s been times that, in my career, that I didn’t even want to step out of my house because I was hurt so bad,” she admitted.
“God gave me the strength to keep stepping and keep my head up, regardless of what anybody thought about me. Regardless of what was being said about me. Regardless of who hated me or who didn’t.
“My skin is tough,” she added. “I walk out. I can handle it.”
You can watch Mary’s Hollywood Walk of Fame address now on YouTube.
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