Over the course of three decades, Mary J. Blige has been one of the leading voices in the music industry. 

With 15 studio albums in the game, the music legend continues to sit on her throne as the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul.

As previously reported by AfroTech, Blige’s talent and dedication to her artistry led her to build a net worth of $20 million, Celebrity Net Worth estimates. 

While the quality of Blige’s discography speaks for itself along with the record charts and plaques, she has opened up about there being a time when she wasn’t prepared for all of the accolades set to come her way — until meeting the music mogul who helped shape her entry into the business.

For her debut album “What’s the 411,” released in 1992 under Uptown Records, Blige worked closely with Diddy, who was the executive producer of the album.

Nearly 30 years later, in an interview with PEOPLE, the Hip-Hop heavyweight praised Blige for being a “pioneer” and “an unstoppable force.”

“Mary J. Blige is one of the greatest storytellers in R&B history,” Diddy told PEOPLE. “She created a lane for women around the world to speak their truth to power, so nobody deserves this success more than her.”

In the same breath, Blige showed love to her close friend and even admitted he played a significant role in her facing success head-on.

“Puff was a huge inspiration for me,” she said, according to the outlet. “He wanted all of this for me more than I wanted it myself.”

“I was not as ambitious as Puff,” she continued. “When I met him, I was afraid of success, afraid to do anything that could put so much attention on me. When you come from where I come from, you’re scared to be ambitious. You’re scared to want more. And then when I met him, he was the complete opposite. He was such a good thing for me because I needed what he had, to be excited to be seen, to have the lights on him. But it took some years to grow into that.”

Since then, it’s clear that Blige has left fear in her past.

In addition to having success in music, she has an ever-expanding acting portfolio, inked endorsement deals, and has multiple business endeavors including her popular wine brand, Sun Goddess.