The honors just keep rolling in for Mary J. Blige.On December 6, Blige will be presented with a 1999 Hero Award by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences' New York chapter at a gala affair set to take place at Laura Belle in Manhattan. Also receiving Hero Awards will be Tony Bennett, Latin singer Celia Cruz, avant-garde composer Phillip Glass, Tommy Boy Records founder Tom Silverman, and "Billboard" magazine Editor-In-Chief Timothy White. The NARAS gives its Hero Awards to artists notable for their vitality and for crossing boundaries with their music. Past recipients include Chuck D, L.L. Cool J, Lou Reed, Salt-N-Pepa, and Carly Simon, among others. Earlier this week, the R&B diva was honored by "Sister 2 Sister" magazine, who presented the singer with the "You're My Sis" Award (see "'Sister 2 Sister' Magazine To Honor Mary J. Blige"). Blige's latest album, "Mary," features guest appearances
by Aretha Franklin, Lauryn Hill, Eric Clapton, Sir Elton John, and K-Ci of K-Ci & JoJo fame. It has sold over 540,000 copies to date, according to figures released Wednesday by SoundScan.
-- John Gill