The Gaye Watkins Report: Mary J.’s FFawn

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Mary J’s  FFAWN

Where was Actor Ildris Elba spinning tunes till after midnight and Mary J, Blige filled with love? At the FFAWN Benefit event at Cipriani at Wall st., New York. Mary J. Blige with the help of the Clinton Global initiative, and Universal Music group funded the evening. All 26 of Mary‘s FFAWN 4 year college scholarship recipients stepped forward toward the stage. Mary like a proud mother kissed each individual girl on the cheek as she quickly walked down the row of young girls. She told the audience and girls that they inspire her and other adults by accepting this scholarship. A hip, mellow concert including, Revolutionary Pianist Elew, Vocalist Jazmine Sullivan and Grammy awardee Robin Thicke, got the  audience in the mood for a night of gratitude. Mary’s hosts for the evening were Deborah Roberts, Actress Taraji Henson and Actor Ildris Elba. Special guest Queen Latifah, spoke of her joy to be at the benefit. Entrepreneur Steve Stout, received the FFAWN Man of The Year Award. Said Stout “ I wanted to give Mary a platform to touch these women, she’s my sister.”. Together Stout and Blige are creating programs to deal with women’s self esteem. I’’m Power Awardees Judy Welch and Joey Berdugo Adler spoke of their thanks to Ms.Blige for helping them over the years with her music which got them thru difficult times. Said Welch, ”You are my beacon in the darkness.”. Speaking of Ms. Blige,”..she has carried millions of women on her back.”.  A surprised Blige, received the Woman of The Year Award. Mary spoke of dropping out in the 11th grade and that, “the streets are what raised me…streets taught me not to play games….Thank you for all the women who heard me cry on my albums. We are all in this together Ladies.”. Oprah’s best friend and O Magazine’s Editor at Large, Gayle King attended as did Fashion Designer Donna Karan. And Actor Ildris Elba, the evenings guest DJ, kept the crowd goin’ as his jams echoed through the night across lower manhattan.

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