Mary J. Blige, Jazmine Sullivan, and Questlove have been named as some of the artists on Time’s 100 Most Influential People list.
The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, Mary J. Blige just received The Icon Award at the 2022 Billboard Awards and had an outstanding performance during the Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show was already having a good year. The “Family Affair” crooner’s tribute was penned by hip-hop icon Nas.
“She was a voice for us, but she wasn’t like other R&B artists at the time,” Nas wrote of the icon.
The rapper recalled a personal antidote of how the singer’s artistry impacted her fans, “Every night during our tour together, Mary would have a heartfelt conversation with the audience. There would be tears in people’s eyes; there would be people yelling with pride.”
This year was a clear reminder to those who have doubted her that Mary J. Blige has always been, and will always remain, “that girl.”
“She carved out a lane for herself, and now she can feed the people more than just music,” the rapper said adding more of the icon’s talents, “She has a lot more to offer, from her incredible acting career to her wine brand to the Strength of a Woman festival she just launched in Atlanta. And I feel like she’s just getting started. She’s who we wanted her to be, and even more. She became who she’s supposed to be.”
Jazmine Sullivan is also a singer that has been able to reap the benefits of her nearly a decade of hard work this year. The R&B singer was awarded her first Grammy this year for her project Heaux Tales which blew fans away. Actress Amber Riley penned the tribute to Sullivan, noting the artist’s “lyrical vulnerability” and ability to “vow to be present and not to hide away” is an inspiration to all.
Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, the drummer of the Roots and now an Oscar and Grammy winning film director (thanks to his documentary Summer Of Soul), is also on the list. His tribute was written by Jimmy Fallon, who recalled the time when he had a meeting with the Roots back in 2008, in hopes that they would consider being the show’s house band. Fallon remembers one joke made by the musician instantaneously made him good in his book.
“I met with them in Lorne’s office (since I didn’t have an office at the time) and Questlove goes, ‘If this is Lorne Michaels’ office, where’s the popcorn?’ That got me. Any comedy or SNL fan knows that Lorne always has a basket of popcorn in his office. And I knew immediately I had just made a friend.”
Fallon recalled the beginning stages of Questlove’s award-wining documentary Summer of Soul and how the legendary musician was anxious during the editing process.
“When he was editing it, I remember him being nervous that it wasn’t going to get into Sundance, nervous that no one was going to buy the movie,” The Tonight Show host said. “Then I remember him winning Sundance—and suddenly not only Sundance, but also a Critics Choice Award, a BAFTA, an Oscar.”
“Now everyone wants to know what Quest is going to do next. Better get some popcorn because you’re gonna want to see this,” the comedian concluded of Questlove.
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