Mary J. Blige enlists Taraji P. Henson, Marsai Martin and more for the women’s summit in New York

LOS ANGELES — Mary J. Blige is bringing her mission to empower women beyond her music to her hometown — with the help of the singer’s superstar friends.

Taraji P. Henson, Tiffany Haddish and Jill Scott and other stars and experts will join Blige for her Strength of a Woman Summit and Festival beginning May 10. Her three-day event over Mother’s Day weekend in New York will include concerts, comedy shows, a gospel brunch, panel discussions and workshops focused on technology, beauty, entrepreneurship and financial literacy.

On Thursday, organizers announced additional speakers including Henson, Marsai Martin, Method Man, Larenz Tate, Tasha Smith, Michael Rainey Jr., Angie Martinez and Pinky Cole. The event will be hosted by comedian Jess Hilarious and podcaster Gia Peppers.

Mary J Blige-Women's SummitMary J Blige-Women's Summit

Mary J Blige attends the CFDA Fashion Awards in New York on November 6, 2023. Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, file

“We teach each other, hold each other and strengthen each other,” the R&B singer said in a recent interview. “We’re helping each other maintain our businesses and mental health and everything.”

Blige launched the Strength of a Woman event in 2022 after years of seeing women at her concerts “hanging on to every word as if my life was their own.” The singer connected with concertgoers as she shared her own profound stories of overcoming pain.

“I thought to myself, ‘Let me do something more than just sing for them,’” said Blige, a nine-time Grammy winner who has won an Emmy, earned two Oscar nominations and will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall . of Fame later this year.

“In the middle of my songs it just jumps out,” she continued. ‘Some kind of inspiring words. People like that. My team and I thought, ‘Why don’t we just create a festival about the same thing?’”

After two successful years in Atlanta, Blige moved her festival to her native New York City. She will perform a major concert at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn with guest appearances from 50 Cent, Scott, Fat Joe, Jadakiss, Lola Brooke and Muni Long. Robert Glasper will headline a jazz concert at the Blue Note Jazz Club, while Haddish will take the stage for a comedy show at the Apollo Theater.

In addition to entertainment, Blige said she wants to provide resources that will help participants achieve success in their lives.

“I’m doing my job,” she said. ‘I am doing what I was sent here to earth to do. I do my job by uplifting women and letting them know that you are not alone. You can come here as a safe haven and get comfort.”

Use the form below to reset your password. Once you submit your account email address, we will send an email with a reset code.

” Previous

Maine ‘American Idol’ contestant Julia Gagnon asks for kindness on Instagram