In a new conversation with PEOPLE published this week, Mary and Puff did a joint interview where they spoke about their close friendship and celebrated each other’s respective careers. Diddy wasn’t going to take all the spotlight as he uplifted the singer for all she’s given to the music industry.
“Mary J. Blige is one of the greatest storytellers in R&B history,” Diddy told PEOPLE. “She created a lane for women around the world to speak their truth to power, so nobody deserves this success more than her.”
He added: “More than being my sister and my best friend, she will forever be a pioneer and the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, who remains an unstoppable force that can accomplish anything she sets her mind to.”
Diddy brought Mary J. Blige over to Uptown Records in the early ’90s and produced her first two albums, What’s the 411? and My Life. Her debut peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart and is certified triple platinum, selling over 3.4 million copies.
Blige’s sophomore effort is widely considered her breakthrough album and peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard 200. It received a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Album at the 1996 ceremony and is also certified triple platinum.
Elsewhere in their conversation with PEOPLE, Blige said Diddy taught her about ambition and was her biggest cheerleader, rooting for her in anything that she did.
“Puff was a huge inspiration for me,” she recalled. “He wanted all of this for me more than I wanted it myself. I was not as ambitious as Puff. When I met him, I was afraid of success, afraid to do anything that could put so much attention on me. When you come from where I come from, you’re scared to be ambitious.
“You’re scared to want more. And then when I met him, he was the complete opposite. He was such a good thing for me because I needed what he had, to be excited to be seen, to have the lights on him. But it took some years to grow into that.”
Mary J. Blige is still a force to be reckoned with even 30 years after her debut. The 52-year-old is up for six Grammys for her latest album Good Morning Gorgeous at the upcoming 2023 awards show, and she’ll be reprising her role as Monet Tejada in season three of 50 Cent’s Power Book II: Ghost, which will premiere next month.