Mary J. Blige says she was “embarrassed” for Lil’ Kim when Diana Ross touched her breast during the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards.
While promoting her new show “Power Book II: Ghost” on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen,” the R&B icon was asked about the infamous moment when she presented alongside Kim at the live ceremony. The Queen Bee turned heads in her purple sequined jumpsuit, which left one breast exposed. When The Supremes legend joined the ladies on stage, she flicked Kim’s pasty-covered breast, causing Kim to laugh.
But the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul was not amused. “I was embarrassed for Kim and I was really pissed when that happened ’cause that’s my little sister and my friend,” said Blige while reliving the two-decade-old moment.
She defended her “I Can Love You” collaborator, saying she deserves respect just like other female rappers. “Kim is courageous. She gon’ do what Kim does so I think we should all respect it,” added Mary, “like we should respect Megan Thee Stallion and Nicki Minaj and Cardi. Respect Lil’ Kim. This is what they do. Respect them.”
While Blige might have been offended by Ross’ actions, Kim was seemingly unfazed. “Now that’s legendary. The boss. I love Diana Ross,” she said during an interview at the 2019 Essence Festival. “I always said if I did a movie about my life, she would play my mom. And I told her that.”
Mary went on to praise Kim as a “trailblazer” for females in hip-hop. “One of the most incredible female rappers that opened the door for so many women,” she told Cohen. “One of the most respected rappers in the business.”
MJB is now readying a new album for release this fall/winter. “It’s about life, love, struggle, but mostly triumph,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “Because I’m learning how to rejoice in the valleys and the droughts.”