Rolling Out

Mary J. Blige brings the heat during memorable night at Barclays Center

For the 3rd annual Strength of a Woman Summit and Festival presented by Mary J. Blige and Pepsi, she headlined a concert that featured 50 Cent and Jill Scott, with a special appearance by Method Man
Mary J. Blige and Method Man
Mary J. Blige and Method Man (Photo by Derrel Jazz Johnson for rolling out)

For the third annual Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit presented by Mary J. Blige and Pepsi, the singer brought the show to New York City on Saturday, May 11. The first two years it took place in Atlanta. Blige headlined a memorable night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn that also featured performances by Jill Scott, 50 Cent, Jadakiss, Fat Joe, Lola Brooke, and Honey Bxby, with legendary radio personality Angie Martinez serving as host and Funkmaster Flex serving as one of several DJs providing entertainment before and in-between performances.

Blige, who earlier in the day spoke on a panel with Taraji P. Henson and Tasha Smith with Martinez serving as moderator, performed many of her hits from her massive catalog, including “I’m Going Down,” “I Can Love You,” “Mary’s Joint” and “Just Fine.” Perhaps the biggest reaction from the crowd all night was when hip-hop artist and actor Method Man, who spoke on a panel for the summit and festival earlier in the day, came out to perform their iconic Grammy Award-winning song, “I’ll Be There for You/You’re All I Need to Get By.” Jadakiss, who performed earlier in the show, joined Blige to perform “Dance For Me.”

Fifty Cent performed many of his classics, including “In Da Club,” “Candy Shop,” “Ayo Technology,” and “Window Shopper.” When the actor, hip-hop artist, and television producer performed the theme song to his hit television show “Power,” “Big Rich Town,” he was joined on stage by some of the stars, including Michael Rainey Jr and Larenz Tate.

Actress and singer Jill Scott performed some of her biggest hits, including “Golden,” “The Way,” and “A Long Walk.” Jadakiss was joined on stage by Sheek Louch and Styles P and performed some of their biggest hits as solo artists and a group, including “Good Love,” “Knock Yourself Out,” “It’s All About the Benjamins” and “Good Times.” Fat Joe was joined onstage by Remy Ma, and the pair combined to perform “Lean Back,” “All the Way Up,” and “What’s Luv.” Other surprise performances included A Boogie Wit da Hoodie.

For the biggest Blige fans, it was a long day that began with the Strength of a Woman summit from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Doors opened at Barclays Center at 7 p.m, and Blige left the stage just before 1 am. For the sold-out crowd that included many mothers in attendance, it appeared to be a great way to start Mother’s Day.

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