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By: Pete Allman

Mary J. Blige was honored at the 20th Anniversary of the ASCAP Rhythm and Soul Music Awards, on June the 25th, at the Biltmore Hotel. It was a historic occasion because the Biltmore is one of the all time original hotels in Los Angeles. Approximately five hundred songwriters and music industry leaders gathered to honor Blige, who received the Voice of the Music Award and Songwriter of the Year for "Be Without You", "Enough Crying", and "Touch" (a collaboration she did with Busta Rhymes) on her Breakthrough album. Jermaine ‘JD’ Dupri and Johnt'a Austin also received Songwriter of the Year.

ASCAP was established in 1914, as the first and leading U.S. Performing Rights Organization representing the world's largest repertory totaling over 8.5 million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from more than 295,000 composers, lyricists, and music publisher members.

Mary J. Blige
It was only fitting to speak to the lady of the hour about her life. According to
Mary J. Blige, everything she does in life is made possible because of God. "He is extremely important to me in everything I do, from the decisions I make in my business, from the clothes I wear to the hairstyles, and the things I say I involve God.” She continued, "I think what touches people as far as Mary J. Blige is concerned, is the fact, that I am not afraid to express that I am a human being and I have problems and issues too. I mean everyone in the world-no one is perfect, and I show people my flaws and everything. It is what it is, you know. And the fact, that I'm able to correct myself when I'm wrong, even in public, can relate to you. You're not so untouchable so to speak-and I'm very touchable." Blige concluded, "If I could hug all my fans I would, but I can't hug a thousand of them at one time. It's the fact that I am touchable. On the My Life album, I was crying out for help, and there was four million that bought the album and reached out to me."

Michelle Williams
formally of Destiny's Child, along with Yung Berg, Young Dro, Dre and Videl, and Keyshia Cole were also very elated over the event. All of these artists agreed that it's easy to slip into a negative situation without having a good relationship with God. In referring to God, these individuals also pointed out, that Jesus Christ is also their savior, and that doesn't give them the right to continue to do things that are displeasing to God.

It's a good lesson for all of us to learn, because there is more temptation in the entertainment business with drugs and the greed of money than the majority of Americans has to deal with. So if entertainers can do things that are positive in life, then we all should be able to follow those examples.