This past weekend, Mary J Blige, with the help of Live Nation Urban and Pepsi, kicked off her inaugural Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit in Atlanta.
The 3-day fest was jam-packed with a comedy show, 2 concerts with an all-women lineup, and a Mother’s Day Gospel Brunch.
The Friday night comedy show included comedians Ms. Pat, Erica Duchess, and Taneshia “Just Nesh” Rice. Following the comedy show was a concert at The Tabernacle in Downtown Atlanta with performances by Kiana Ledè, Emotional Oranges, Rubi Rose, Sevyn Streeter, Inayah, MK XYZ and Omerettá the Great. It was the ideal ladies night.
Pink and purple seemed to be the official colors of the weekend, as the fluorescent colors lit up every room we walked in. There were interactive Strength of a Woman photobooths on display all around the venue for fans to enjoy, along with refreshments courtesy of Pepsi and Strength of a Woman merch booths scattered around. And, of course, a hot wing booth selling some of the best assorted chicken wings we’ve ever ate because when in Rome, right?
Fans watched on as their favorite artists put on a hell of a show. ATL natives and rappers Rubi Rose and Omerettá commanded the stage while performing their most popular songs. Rubi even added a twerk competition mid song as she rapped the sexy yet playful lyrics to her single “Hit Yo Dance” featuring Yella Beezy and NLE Choppa.
The energy of the night became calmer once the R&B songstresses took the stage. Sevyn Streeter recently finished her intimate 5-city tour promoting her latest project Drunken Wordz, Sober Thoughtz but she made sure to bring some of that tour energy to the stage and performed songs like “Taboo”, “Before I Do” and “Nasty Girl”.
Kiana Lede closed out the night and did not disappoint. The singer-songwriter floated around the stage in a sultry, black skirt and bra set while serenading the audience as she sung her songs “Chocolate” and “Attention” from her debut album KIKI.
The festivities picked back up on Saturday with the Strength of a Woman Summit hosted by actress Taraji P. Henson. Guests enjoyed educational workshops and panels geared toward cultivating a community to empower and uplift women.
Trailblazing black women in various industries ranging from music and entertainment to hair care and culinary arts shared their individual stories about overcoming adversities, love, friendship and success. Mary J. Blige, Angie Martinez, Supa Cent, Tasha K. Smith, LaLa Anthony, Coco Jones, Naturi Naughton, Kandi Burruss and more were able to speak about their experiences with attendees.
Black-owned food trucks, a Strength of a Woman curated NFT gallery and music led by DJ Traci Steele are just a few of the fun things provided for everyone to enjoy and the entire experience was live-streamed globally on Amazon’s Twitch.
Carrying on into the night, a sold-out concert at State Farm Arena headlined by Mary J Blige was nothing short of magical. R&B group Xscape, Chaka Khan, City Girls, Yung Baby Tate and Queen Naija performed and kept the crowd hype but it was the grand finale that truly brought the night together.
Mary J Blige made the stage her own in an orange and magenta jumpsuit, along with her signature blond tresses and knee-high boots. The R&B legend gave the audience a lengthy but well deserved 2-hour set running through her extensive list of hits. “My Life,” “Real Love” and “Mary Jane (All Night Long)” are among the many songs that she performed.
She even brought longtime friend, and co-star on STARZ Power Book II, Method Man along to perform their 1995 hit “All I Need” while fans and special guests like LaLa Anthony, Kelly Rowland and Missy Elliot sang along. But the surprises didn’t stop there.
As the concert began to wind down, Usher, Summer Walker and Ella Mai joined Mary on stage to perform a few of their songs for the crowd. It was a perfect finale and an even more perfect night as Mary reminded us why she has and will always be the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul.