LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- On her 47th birthday, nine-time Grammy-winning singer Mary J. Blige received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Thursday.
During the emotional ceremony, Blige recalled her childhood in the projects in New York and the big dreams that helped her become the star she is today.
"I loved to sing," said Blige. "It set me free from all of the negativity and all of the confusion happening outside of our home."
"God gave me the strength to keep steppin' and keep my head up regardless of what anybody thought about me, regardless of what anybody said about me," she continued. "I see myself clear and it's not all pretty, but I accept the beautiful mess that I am because it's an imperfect me, still learning, still growing, still Mary though."
Blige's longtime friend and mentor, rap mogul Sean Combs, joined the unveiling.
"This is about our sister getting her star, her true recognition," said Combs. "But this thing is also about family. We've been through a whole lot. We started from nothing. I used to pick Mary up from the projects. I had me a Volkswagen Rabbit. I had two rims on it because I couldn't afford four ... we would just drive down the highway in New York, and we would just dream. We would say, 'We wanna be somebody. We wanna be big, we wanna be something for our people. And we wanna come and shake up the world.' And we did that."
Blige has recorded eight multi-platinum albums and sold more than 50 million copies. She's received 31 Grammy nominations over the course of her 25-year career. She is currently starring in the big screen drama "Mudbound."
Mary J. Blige gets best birthday gift ever: star on Hollywood Walk of Fame