Mary J. Blige shed happy tears when she learned she earned her first-ever Oscar nomination Tuesday morning.
“My phone rang at about 5:30 a.m. and it was my publicist, Amanda, and she was screaming,” she told USA Today. “And I don’t know what it is so I’m screaming and I’m crying! It’s just a really emotional time. We’re not taking this lightly because things like this don’t happen. And it did.”
The singer is nominated for best supporting actress for “Mudbound.” She plays Florence Johnson, a sharecropper’s wife, in the film.
“I just can’t stop crying,” Blige said.
Blige has a lot to be happy about. The same day, she earned a second nod for best original song for “Mighty River,” which she wrote and recorded for the post-World War II era Netflix movie set in the Deep South. Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson also share writing credits on the song.
The double nomination makes Blige the first person of any gender to be nominated for best supporting actress and best original song in the same year.
Although the record is a historic one, Blige expressed disappointment that the film’s director, Dee Rees, wasn’t nominated for best director. Rees is still nominated for best adapted screenplay with Virgil Williams.
Blige told USA Today she hopes people take away a message of hope from the film.
“What I hope that people take away is that no matter how bad or how awful things get or look or people treat us, we cannot give up on ourselves,” she said. “And we have to continue to look at the negative as an opportunity to do something positive, to change something.”
“Love is the answer. Love is the silver lining trough the whole movie,” she said.