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7 Moments From Mary J. Blige’s 2024 Strength Of A Woman Festival & Summit

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Mary J. Blige showcased her Strength of a Woman Festival & Summit in her hometown of New York City this year, staying true to her mission of empowering and uniting her community. The event spanned three days over Mother’s Day weekend (May 10-12), featuring a special performance by Robert Glasper, enlightening panels at The Glasshouse in Manhattan, and an evening concert at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. To conclude the festival, Blige hosted a Gospel Brunch, made possible through partnerships with Pepsi, Live Nation Urban, ASCAP, and others.

Crafted by the Grammy Award-winning artist alongside her partners Nicole Jackson, Vice President of MJB Inc., and Ashaunna Ayars of The Ayars Agency, the summit offered diverse experiences including activations and installations from Simone I. Smith and Blige’s Sister Love jewelry line. Attendees enjoyed a listening station showcasing Blige’s iconic R&B discography, as well as her signature Sun Goddess Wine. Glam sessions by Mielle, custom bouquets from Bloom Bar, and tooth jewelry by Get Gem’d added to the luxurious atmosphere. For those seeking relaxation, a comfortable lounging station was thoughtfully provided.

Here are our favorite 7 moments during the Festival:

Moment 1Gia Peppers, Shari Bryant, Crystal Renee Hayslett, Marsai Martin and Heather Lowery’s “You Can Sit With Us” Chat

During the summit, discussions among the attendees centered on the invaluable role of supportive mothers, sharing personal anecdotes and reflections on the profound impact of maternal encouragement. One recurring theme was the belief in destiny, encapsulated in the phrase “what’s for you is for you,” emphasizing the power of perseverance and staying true to oneself in the face of challenges. The conversations also underscored the significance of putting in the effort and “doing the work,” highlighting the journey of personal growth, resilience, and success that comes from dedication and determination.

Moment 2 – The Black Owned Food Vendors

Pinky Cole from Slutty Vegan delighted guests with her famous vegan chopped Philly, while Harlem’s own Melba Wilson served up Southern favorites like fried chicken, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, and spring rolls as appetizers. The mother-daughter team of Chef Shelly and Jataun Flash from Brooklyn tantalized taste buds with Caribbean delights from their restaurant 2 Girls & A Cookshop, complemented by Nicole Nicholas of Aunts Et Uncles who presented a diverse array of options including lobster rolls, ceviche, and jerk BBQ mushrooms.

Moment 3 – The Men Of Starz Honor The Strength of Women

The “Power” Men, Larenz Tate, Method Man, and Michael Rainey Jr joined “BMF” star Da’Vinchi and “Raising Kanan” star Mekai Curtis took the stage to passionately discuss the immense strength and resilience of women. Their conversations echoed the sentiment that women’s fortitude and determination are forces to be reckoned with, highlighting the pivotal roles women play in shaping communities and driving positive change. The speakers emphasized the importance of recognizing and celebrating women’s achievements and advocating for pay equality. “Pay Them Equally,” Method Man spoke to the crowd and the simple statement was met with applause.

Moment 4 – FunkMaster Flex Wakes Up The Crowd

As the crowd impatiently waited for their favorite artists to take the stage, Funkmaster Flex appears to remind us why he’s NYC favorite DJ. His ability to unify the crowd transition between songs of the 70s and 80s to having everyone on their feet lightening up the Barclay Center for Pop Smoke and DMX was amazing to witness. Promising to be back, the crowd was noticeably disappointed when Flex made his departures.

Moment 5 – Angie Thanks The Hip Hop Mamas

The show commenced with Angie Martinez introducing the mothers of rap stars Jim Jones, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, Jadakiss and the late Pop Smoke. The group Wanmor then serenaded the crowd and their mom with “The Song For Mama” famously performed by their dad’s group Boyz II Men.

Moment 6 – The Queen of Boots Announces Her Collaboration With Guiseppe

Mary J Blige revealed her collaboration with Guiseppe while wearing the boots on stage at the Barclay Center. “My fans have been waiting for a boot from me for a long time, so I knew when I did it, it had to be right. From start to finish, Giuseppe just understood what I wanted and helped make this idea a reality.“ At $1,295, the shoe would sell out in 24 hours!

Moment 7 – They Say This Is A Big Rich Town

The lights went low and 50 appeared on a high rise above the stage. Tony Yayo and Uncle Murder would join him shortly to hype the crowd. 50 smoothly performed his hits from “What Up Gangsta” to “I Get Money” while simultaneously throwing his Givenchy varsity jacket into the crowd. An outfit change would occur before 50 launched into “Magic Stick,” “Candy Shop” and “21 Questions.” Michael Rainey Jr. and Larenz Tate from “Power Book II: Ghost,” Da’Vinchi from “BMF” and Mekai Curtis from “Power Book III: Raising Kanan” joined 50 on stage to wave to the fans then Mekai joined the band and hit the drums for “In the Club”. Closing out his set, Mary joined 50 Cent on stage for “Hate It Or Love It” sending the crowd in a frenzy.

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