Mary J. Blige was angry at Diana Ross for appearing to disrespect her pal Lil’ Kim by touching the rapper’s exposed breast onstage at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards.
The Upside Down hitmaker was an honouree at the annual ceremony and was introduced to the stage by Blige and Kim, who had turned heads on the red carpet by arriving in a purple sequined jumpsuit featuring a dramatic asymmetric top, which left one boob completely uncovered, except for a matching pasty the hip-hop had used to preserve her modesty.
When Ross stepped up to greet the ladies, she marvelled at Kim’s daring outfit, and memorably reached over the podium to jiggle her breast as the MC laughed.
However, Blige wasn’t pleased at the encounter, which unfolded on live TV.
“I was embarrassed for Kim, and I was really p***ed when that happened, because that’s my little sister and my friend,” the singer/actress shared on U.S. talk show Watch What Happens Live.
“Kim is courageous. She’s gonna do what Kim does (with her fashion choices), so I think we all should respect it like we respect… Megan Thee Stallion and Nicki Minaj and Cardi (B),” she added. “Respect Lil’ Kim. This is what they do. Respect them.”
While Blige was unimpressed by Ross’ actions, Kim previously insisted she was honoured to have been touched by the music icon.
During an interview at the 2019 Essence Festival, she said, “Now that’s legendary. The boss. I love Diana Ross. I always said if I did a movie about my life, she would play my mom. And I told her that.”