Mary J. Blige’s compelling performance as Florence Jackson in Mudbound has officially earned her an Oscar nomination.
Announced on Tuesday morning, Blige received nominations in the Actress in a Supporting Role and Original Song categories for her contributions to the Dee Ree’s film. This is Blige’s first nomination and also makes history in two ways — in addition to being the first Oscar-nominated Actress in a Supporting Role in a film directed by a woman of color (Rees), Blige is also the first person ever to be nominated for a performance and original song in the same year —for the same film.
And her fans couldn’t be more excited.
Blige’s role in Mudbound also earned her Screen Actors Guild, Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice nominations. On Jan. 11 —her birthday— Blige was presented with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the recording category.
“Shedding Mary J. Blige for Florence gave Mary J. Blige some confidence… like a lot of it,” Blige told ESSENCE. “[On set] I could hear people whispering, ‘She’s so beautiful.’ And I was like, ‘Who the hell are they talking about?'”
“I had just come back from performing on the Bad Boy Family Reunion tour with all the nails and the wigs, and I wasn’t trying to depart from that,” she admitted. “So when it came time to get into character, I was like, ‘Can I wear a lace-front wig? Can I get some lashes?'”
The nine-time Grammy award winner has been in the entertainment business for over 20 years. Blige has put out 13 albums and has amassed fans globally.
“If I didn’t let go and give into the character, the movie probably wouldn’t be what it is right now. It was the one thing that needed to be done, and I couldn’t let Dee down.”