This week, Urban One announced that Grammy and Emmy Award-winning singer, Oscar-nominated actress and legendary Queen of Hip Hop Soul Mary J. Blige will be recognized as the prestigious Entertainment Icon Honoree at the 6th annual ‘Urban One Honors.’ The two-hour ‘Urban One Honors: Best in Black’ event premieres during Black History Month on Sunday, February 25th at 8p/7c, on TV One and simulcast on CLEO TV.
Mary J. Blige is one of the defining voices of the contemporary music era. With a track record of eight multi-platinum albums, nine Grammy Awards (plus a staggering 32 nominations), an Emmy Award, two Academy Award nominations, two Golden Globe nominations and a SAG nomination among many other accolades, Blige has cemented herself as a global superstar. Influenced at an early age by the music of Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan and Gladys Knight, Blige brought her own gritty, urban-rooted style – fusing hip-hop, soul and honest, frank lyrics – to the forefront on her 1992 debut album “What’s the 411?” The multi-platinum set quickly spun off several hits, including two R&B number ones: “You Remind Me” and “Real Love.” Blige helped redefine R&B and began forging a unique niche for herself on the more personal second album, 1994’s “My Life.” She is loved for her passionate, chart-topping hits like “Be Without You,” “No More Drama,” and “Family Affair,” all of which have made her a force in music. Over her career, Blige has released 15 studio albums, in addition to starring in films and television programs such as Mudbound, The Umbrella Academy, Respect, Power Book II: Ghost and more.
“Urban One is thrilled to honor the incomparable Mary J. Blige as our 2024 Entertainment Icon. Mary’s immeasurable talent and award-winning music have shaped our culture and had a profound impact on artists and music across all genres, but most notably the elevation of female artists in both R&B and Hip Hop across generations. She fully personifies the ”Best in Black” theme of this year’s Urban One Honors,” says Michelle L. Rice, President of TV One and CLEO TV.”
Blige joins previously announced esteemed honorees: Dionne Warwick, recognized as the Lifetime Achievement Honoree; Chlöe, celebrated as the Generation Next Honoree; Frankie Beverly, honored as a Living Legend, and Donald Lawrence, acclaimed for his Inspirational Impact.
This year’s ‘Urban One Honors’ will include electrifying performances from Teyana Taylor, Bebe Winans, Damon Little, Angie Stone, and October London with more names to be announced soon. There will also be an R&B Divas reunion featuring KeKe Wyatt, Chanté Moore, and Nicci Gilbert. Grammy Award-winning singer LeToya Luckett will return to host the event’s “Backstage Pass,” featuring exclusive interviews with the show’s honorees, performers and presenters.
Sponsors for ‘Urban One Honors’ include Ally, P&G, Rocket Mortgage, Subaru, Intuit TurboTax, Walt Disney World Resort, and Walmart.
The 2024 ‘Urban One Honors: Best In Black’ is presented by TV One. This marks the official kickoff celebration for TV One’s 20th Anniversary, marking two decades of excellence in entertainment. In honor of this milestone, throughout the year, TV One is set to roll out an array of special programming, featuring curated retrospectives, exclusive behind-the-scenes content, and a series of commemorative events. As part of the festivities, viewers can anticipate engaging interviews with key figures who have shaped the network’s journey and showcase of iconic moments that have defined TV One over the past 20 years. The anniversary celebration underscores TV One’s commitment to delivering exceptional content and fostering a deep connection with its audience.
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‘Urban One Honors’ is produced for TV One by James Seppelfrick of The Cheat Code. Marilyn Gill is the Executive Producer. Myriam Leger will serve as Director and Daniel Moore as Musical Director. Kashon Powell is the Vice President of Programming for Radio One and Susan Henry is the Executive Producer in Charge of Production for TV One.