Unveiling is Free and Open to the Public
WHAT: The Apollo – the soul of American culture and a globally recognized national treasure – will honor nine-time Grammy Award-winning and two-time Academy Award nominee Mary J. Blige with her induction into the Apollo’s Walk of Fame. Celebrating and honoring the legendary artists who have performed on the world-famous non-profit Theater’s stage over the last 87 years, Ms. Blige joins an iconic line of inductees who have had an enormous influence on generations of musicians, fans, and culture at-large, including Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, Patti Labelle, Smokey Robinson, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Little Richard, Ella Fitzgerald, and most recently, the original Temptations.
Following the success of Ms. Blige’s debut album, What’s the 411?, nearly 30 years ago, she has continued to be a figure of inspiration, transformation, and empowerment, making her one of the defining voices of contemporary music. She first appeared on “Showtime at the Apollo” in 1992 with a performance of “You Remind Me,” and went on to appear on the hit series in 1995 and 2001, and at the Apollo with a sold-out concert of her own in 2002. With eight multi-platinum albums, nine Grammy Awards (and 32 nominations), two Academy Award nominations, two Golden Globe nominations, and a SAG nomination, among many other accolades, Ms. Blige has cemented herself as a global superstar. For three decades, the singer/songwriter has attracted an intensely loyal fan base— responsible for propelling worldwide sales of more than 50 million albums.
The induction ceremony will include remarks from Ms. Blige, Apollo Theater Executive Producer Kamilah Forbes, and Apollo Theater Board Chair Charles Phillips and Billy “Mr. Apollo” Mitchell. Following the remarks, the Apollo will unveil a permanent plaque recognizing Ms. Blige’s cultural significance, international success, and extraordinary longevity in the entertainment business.
WHEN: Friday, May 28 at 10:00 a.m. Media check-in: 9:30 a.m.
WHERE: The Apollo. 253 West 125th Street. New York, NY 10027
MARY J. BLIGE is an iconic Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, Oscar-nominated actress, producer and philanthropist. Her 1992 debut album, What’s the 411?, executive produced by Sean “Diddy” Combs, went multi platinum and quickly spun off several hits, including two No. R&B No. 1s: 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. Each subsequent album reads like a chapter from an autobiography: Share My World (1997), Mary (1999), No More Drama (2001), Love & Life (2003), the multiple Grammy-winning and hit-spewing The Breakthrough (2005), Growing Pains (2007), Stronger with Each Tear (2009), My Life II… The Journey Continues (2011), A Mary Christmas (2013) and The London Sessions (2014). Next up, Blige will star as Dinah Washington in the Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect, alongside Jennifer Hudson coming out in August 2021. Blige is also working with Oscar-winning filmmaker Vanessa Roth and Amazon on an untitled documentary celebrating the 25th anniversary of her famed album My Life. Blige will not only be the subject of the documentary, where she will reflect on her nearly 30-year career within the music industry, but also as an Executive Producer through her own production company Blue Butterfly.
ABOUT THE APOLLO: The legendary Apollo Theater—the soul of American culture—plays a vital role in cultivating emerging artists and launching legends. Since its founding, the Apollo has served as a center of innovation and a creative catalyst for Harlem, the city of New York, and the world.
With music at its core, the Apollo’s programming extends to dance, theater, spoken word, and more. This includes the world premiere of the theatrical adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me and the New York premiere of the opera We Shall Not Be Moved; special programs such as the blockbuster concert Bruno Mars Live at the Apollo; 100: The Apollo Celebrates Ella; and the annual Africa Now! Festival. The non-profit Apollo Theater is a performing arts presenter, commissioner, and collaborator that also produces festivals, largescale dance and musical works organized around a set of core initiatives that celebrate and extend the Apollo’s legacy through a contemporary lens, including the Women of the World (WOW) Festival as well as other multidisciplinary collaborations with partner organizations.
Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo has served as a testing ground for new artists working across a variety of art forms and has ushered in the emergence of many new musical genres—including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Among the countless legendary performers who launched their careers at the Apollo are Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, H.E.R., D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Machine Gun Kelly, and Miri Ben Ari; and the Apollo’s forward-looking artistic vision continues to build on this legacy. For more information about the Apollo, visit www.ApolloTheater.org.