Mary J. Blige scored big at yesterday’s (December 4) 2006 Billboard Music Awards, edging out competitors in nine categories including Artists of the Year, Song Of The Year and Album Of The Year in the R&B/Hip Hop category.
“I’ve never received this many awards at any time in my career, ever,” Blige told reporters backstage at the award show.
Blige who is still riding high from the success of her 2005 release, The Breakthrough, which has sold over 2.6 million copies domestically, is also set to release Reflections – A Retrospective, a collection of her greatest hits and previously unreleased tracks on December 12.
“I remember a time when all my fans were crying and sad and going through hell,” Blige said as she reflected on her winning night and the significant change in direction of her lyrical content. “Now, we’re trying to uplift each other and accept ourselves for who we are, even if nobody else does.”
Rihanna joined Blige in the winner’s circle beating both Blige and Beyonce for Best Female Artist. “That was a tough category,” admitted Rihanna when she accepted her trophy. New jack Chris Brown won Best New Artist Of The Year as well as artist and Male Artist Of The Year.
Blige also rounds out the year with Mary J. Blige & Friends, a special CD/DVD of duets featuring Elton John, Patti Labelle, Santana, Jamie Foxx and LL Cool J. The two-disc set, available only at Circuit City, will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
On the hip-hop side, T.I. took home five awards, including Rap Artist Of The Year, Rap Album Of The Year, Rap Album Artist Of The Year, Videoclips Of The Year and Rap Songs Artist Of The Year.
Ludacris and Pharrell also took the stage to perform “Money Maker,” while Young Jeezy performed “I Luv It.”
Read the complete list of Billboard Awards 2006 winners.