The festival’s awards gala, hosted by Mary Hart, will be held Jan. 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.
“Mary J. Blige is a global superstar in the world of music who continues to make her mark as an actress in both television and film,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “In her current film ‘Mudbound,’ Blige gives a quiet yet fantastic performance as Florence Jackson, a strong woman supporting her sharecropper family in rural Mississippi.”
Past recipients of the Breakthrough Performance Award include Mahershala Ali, Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Hudson, Felicity Huffman, Brie Larson, Lupita Nyong’o, David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike and Jeremy Renner. Ali, Cotillard, Hudson, Larson and Nyong’o went on to receive Academy Awards while Huffman, Pike and Renner received nominations.
Blige has won eight multi-platinum albums, nine Grammy Awards and five American Music Awards. She has appeared in Tyler Perry’s dramatic comedy “I Can Do Bad All By Myself” and starred in “Rock of Ages.” Her other credits include the TV movie “Betty & Coretta,” the holiday musical drama “Black Nativity” and guest spots on “Black-ish,” “Empire,” “The Wiz Live!” and “How To Get Away With Murder.”