NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The queen of hip-hop soul Mary J. Blige has landed a spot on the Apollo Theater Walk of Fame.

As CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported, there was some “real love” for nine-time Grammy winner Mary J. Blige as she was inducted into the Apollo Walk of Fame Friday morning.

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“My very first time performing here at the Apollo, I was not on stage as myself. I was on stage singing background for Jeff Redd. And from there on, it was all history,” Blige said.

“She is very deserving of this star,” a fan named Sheila told Duddridge. “Mary J. means everything to me. She is the queen of R&B right now. Her voice is wonderful, marvelous. Her songs mean so much, they saved me.”

Best known for songs like Family Affair, Not Gon Cry, No More Drama, the Bronx-born, Yonkers-raised 50-year-old superstar joins a long list of music legends who have performed at the Apollo Theater over the years, like Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, Smokey Robinson, Ella Fitzgerald, and the Temptations.

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Blige first appeared on Showtime At The Apollo in 1992, and went on to perform many more sold-out shows at the iconic theater.

“She speaks from the soul. She sings from experience and her music is great, but it touches you. You can feel it. You can feel it, no matter where you’re from,” said Jacques Muna.

The story goes that she got her start recording her first demo tape at a karaoke machine set up at the Galleria Mall in Westchester. Blige says that demo tape ended up in the right hands and soon she was handed her first record deal.

“I love Mary J. We actually grew up together, she was friends with my sister in Yonkers,” said fan Gee Gee Casanova. “Yes, in White Plains, they had a booth there, back in the day. We would go in there and sing.”

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And fans can visit her star, anytime, at the place where she first performed songs from her debut album.

Natalie Duddridge