Category Music Date: 03 May 2024

Mary J. Blige Brings Her Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit to New York City for 2024

UPDATE: Actress Taraji P. Henson, rap icon Method Man and media personality Angie Martinez are among the key speakers appearing at Mary J. Blige’s Strength of a Woman Summit held at The Glasshouse in New York City on May 11. Co-hosted by The Breakfast Club co-host/comedian Jess Hilarious and entertainment journalist Gia Peppers, the summit is part of Blige’s third annual Strength of a Woman Festival. Taking place for the first time in New York City, the Mother’s Day Weekend event (May 10-12) is presented by the multiple Grammy Award winner and Pepsi in partnership with Live Nation Urban and MVD Inc.

The summit’s daylong slate of panels, workshops and activations is free to attendees, and sponsored by Mielle Organics, Verizon Business, Starz and ASCAP. The diverse offerings — encompassing wellness, culture, finance and entrepreneurship, style and beauty — include “Girl Talk with MJB,” moderated by IRL (In Real Life) podcast host Martinez and featuring Blige, Henson and actress-director Tasha Smith; “Our Men Honor the Strength of a Woman” with Method Man and actor Larenz Tate, among other panelists; and “From Crisis to Care: Navigating Mental Health in the Black Community” with Silence the Shame founder/CEO Shanti Das.

Guests can also visit “Mary’s Living Room,” a sanctuary featuring wine from Blige’s Sun Goddess collection, specially made festival merch and a My Life custom listening booth in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the singer’s legendary album. Additional summit participants include HarbourView Equity Partners founder/CEO Sherrese Clarke Soares, Femme It Forward founder/president Heather Lowery, Roc Nation label co-president Shari Bryant, ASCAP senior vp/membership Nicole George-Middleton, MJB Productions COO LaTonya DaCosta Blige and actress Marsai Martin.

Original story from March 6: In a twist from its first two years, Mary J. Blige’s Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit is moving from Atlanta to hip-hop’s birthplace, New York City. Presented by the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul and Pepsi in partnership with Live Nation Urban, the annual event will take place once again during Mother’s Day weekend: May 10-12.

Highlighting this year’s three-day slate will be a concert at Barclays starring Blige and special guests 50 Cent, Jill Scott, Fat Joe, Jadakiss, Muni Long, Lola Brooke and Funk Flex. Also on the featival lineup: a comedy show at the Apollo Theatre featuring Tiffany Haddish, Don’t Call Me White Girl and Paris Sashay; a jazz concert at the Blue Note with Robert Glasper and a Blige-hosted gospel brunch at the Brooklyn Chophouse in Times Square followed by a gospel concert headlined by The Clark Sisters with Femme It Forward at Brooklyn Paramount.

The Strength of a Woman Summit will take place at The Glasshouse on May 11. Hosted by Angie Martinez, the programming will include a series of inspiring and empowering panels, keynote speakers and workshops focusing on music, wellness, technology, beauty and financial literacy.

Founder Blige launched the Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit in 2022. In a release announcing its 2024 rollout, Blige stated, “I’m so excited to bring our Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit to my hometown, New York City, a place that has always been a huge source of inspiration for me. Having the opportunity to continue to uplift, inspire and build within my community is the reason I created this festival. I’m so grateful for all the support from our performers, attendees and, of course, our partners Live Nation Urban and Pepsi. Nobody does it like New York, so get ready.”

As before, Pepsi — the festival’s inaugural partner — will also bring back its popular Pepsi Dig In platform, featuring an array of food from local Black female restaurateurs.

“As a brand rooted in celebrating culture and music and uplifting communities, Pepsi is honored to return as presenting partner and co-producer of the Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit, continuing our shared vision with Mary to elevate and empower women,” commented Kent Montgomery, senior vp, PepsiCo Industry Relations and Multicultural Development. “The festival’s move to New York City, Pepsi’s own backyard, provides an even larger stage to highlight and support more remarkable women in the community. As it moves into its third year, the festival’s continued success is a testament to Mary’s impact and the power of amplifying Black women and their voices.”

In celebration of Women’s History Month (March), presale tickets will go live Wednesday and Thursday (March 6-7) with the code STRENGTH. General ticket sales will begin Friday, March 8, at 10 a.m. ET