Photo credit: Denis Makarenko /

There were a lot of talking points from last night’s BET Awards – and Mary J Blige being honoured with the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ was one of the biggest highlights of the memorable evening.

Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, and Lionel Richie are just some of the big names who have also been honoured with the prestigious award, so Mary J Blige is in extremely good company!

Before accepting her well-deserved accolade, the iconic singer received a very heartfelt and meaningful introduction from none other than Rihanna…

“Mary J. Blige, you have set the bar for relatable, timeless, classic music. You opened multiple doors for female artists in this industry,” Rihanna gushed.

“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.”

The crowd then stood up and applauded when Mary J Blige took to the stage. She then commenced with her acceptance speech, which no doubt went down extremely well with the audience…

“When you have a lifetime of achievements, there’s no way you could have done it alone,”   her acceptance speech began.

“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.”

And the 48-year-old musical legend has certainly made history throughout her career. As well as releasing eight multi-platinum albums, she has also received nine Grammys and 12 Billboard Music Awards, among other gongs.

After a quick outfit change, Mary J Blige then performed a legendary medley of some of her greatest hits, which included No More Drama, I’m Going Down, Real Love, Loving You Everyday, and I Can Love You, which also featured Lil’ Kim.

Lil’ Kim wasn’t the only special guest, as Method Man also joined Mary J Blige for a stunning performance of You’re All I Need.

Congratulations, Mary J Blige – a very worthy recipient!