How To Get Away With Murder” returns this week, and the third season will welcome a new face to the ABC Shondaland series: Mary J. Blige.

The Grammy winner does not appear in the premiere episode, which airs Thursday at 10 p.m., and while the date of her episode has not yet been announced, show creator Pete Nowalk says the role is not large — but it’s crucial to the storyline.

“It’s not a huge part, but it is a pivotal part to Annalise because we got to see more about her that we didn’t know,” Nowalk said Tuesday night at a premiere screening and panel, held at The Grove in Los Angeles, Calif. Nowalk also teased that Blige’s role is a “part that could recur.”

So, how did Blige end up being cast on “How To Get Away With Murder” this season?

Turns out, the iconic R&B songstress — whose recent acting roles include NBC’s “The Wiz Live,” plus guest stints on ABC’s “Black-ish” and Fox’s “Empire” — is a huge fan of “HTGAWM.”

“It kinda just landed in our lap. Apparently she’s a huge fan of our show,” Nowalk said on the panel. “Right when we found that out, we had written this part…and I was like, ‘Oh, that’s the perfect part for her.’ And she was shooting two days later.”

The cast all shared their excitement of having Blige on set.

“I was freaking out because ‘What’s the 411,’ I was making up dance routines to that whole album in my bedroom,” cast member Conrad Ricamora said with a laugh, speaking about Blige’s 1992 album.

Aja Naomi King added, “If I talk about how excited I am, I might give something away because what was written for her and the way that it’s done was just so perfect.”

Other panelists at the event tonight were Karla Souza, Jack Falahee, Matt McGorry, Billy Brown and “Scandal” costume designer Lyn Paolo, who is joining “HTGAWM” for Season 3.