Janet Jackson Presents Mary J. Blige With 'Billboard' Icon Award

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Janet Jackson made a surprise appearance on Sunday night’s Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas to present Mary J. Blige with the Icon Award.

“What is an icon? Is it the ability to create, explore and practically pioneer an entire musical genre? Is it the amassing of millions of dedicated fans that breathe your art daily?,” read Jackson, who received the Icon Award in 2001.

“Her work has always given us comfort because she sings me, she sings you.”

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Jackson then referenced some of Blige’s songs. "I reminisce, but i’m not going to cry because even though sometimes it feels like everyday it rains, I’ve got no more drama. I’m just fine with my life, my life, my life, my life in the sunshine.”

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Blige accepted the honour by stressing how it comes after years of hard work. "The way the world is now, I think people think icons are born that way, they become a legend overnight,” she said. “But that’s definitely not the case.”

Blige added: “I was ghetto fabulous, and I still am. And people were threatened by that. And now everyone wants to be ghetto fabulous.”

Previous Icon Award recipients include Prince, Cher, Mariah Carey and Canada’s Céline Dion.

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