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Mary J. Blige’s name was immediately thrown into the award season contender hat the moment her critically acclaimed film Mudbound hit Netflix. Now, not only is her name across every single major award show nominations list, but she is already starting to pick up some big wins.

On Tuesday night, the singer took home the Breakthrough Performance Award at the 29th Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala. After being presented with the award by friend and rapper Common, an emotional actress expressed what it meant to play such a resilient character in the Netflix drama.

“Playing Florence was a heavy experience for me. But I’m so proud to have had the opportunity to walk through this strong woman’s shoes,” Blige said about her role in the film, produced by the major Black production company, MACRO.

The beauty, who donned a gorgeous Elie Saab gown, continued on about the humbling experience, “It wasn’t easy at first to find this character because I didn’t realize how vain I was until I had to play a character like Florence. Seriously I had to leave a lot of myself behind, a lot of Mary J. Blige behind. A lot of wigs, a lot of lashes, a lot of makeup, a lot of nails, you know the whole thing.”

This is just one of many awards for Mary to come — the New York native was also nominated for a Golden Globe and a SAG Award and people are already expecting a nice sweep across the board.

Also taking home an award from the big night was Octavia Spencer and her cast from the Shape of Water.

See photos from the big night below.

J. Miles Dale, Richard Jenkins, Guillermo del Toro, Sally Hawkins, Alexandre Desalt, Octavia Spencer, and Selma Hayek

 

Common

 

Jessica Chastain, winner of the Chairman’s Award

 

Gal Gadot

 

Octavia Spencer

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