Mary J. Blige, K. Michelle, Queen Naija to perform at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena

Concert follows $1,000 donation to Jacksonville domestic violence shelter

Promotion photos of Mary J. Blige and K Michelle and a Getty Images photo of Queen Naija from the 2022 Soul Train Music Awards. (WJXT)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Some big names in R&B music are coming together for a special concert in downtown Jacksonville Thursday night.

Mary J. Blige will headline the “Pre-New Year’s Eve Celebration,” and ahead of the concert Thursday morning, Fifth Degree Tours II gave Hubbard House, Jacksonville’s domestic violence shelter, a $1,000 donation.

Hubbard House provides shelter and other services to any survivor of domestic violence and helps around 4,500 survivors a year.

It’s a cause Blige has been vocal about.

“Mary J Blige has been vocal her whole career. Everyone knows Mary’s struggle. Everyone knows Mary’s success getting over that struggle,” said Fifth Degree Tours II COO Eric Mitchell. “We feel that the Hubbard House is all the same trail of helping people transition from going through to getting through.”

Representatives from Fifth Degree Tours II present a $1,000 donation to Hubbard House. (WJXT)

A Hubbard House spokesperson said Thursday’s donation will go a long way.

“Safe shelter, nights at the shelter, food for the families that we serve, counseling that they need and want and other supportive services that we provide through our life-saving and life-changing services,” said Tammy Taylor, Hubbard House Chief Program Officer.

Melanie Eke, with Fifth Degree Tours II Marketing, said it’s clear Hubbard House does great work in the community.

“We really hope that this goes to the survivors to be able to get them the protection that they need, the help they need, and hopefully bring a little joy to their lives, because it is a holiday. That is our goal to bring joy,” Eke said.

K. Michelle and Queen Naija are joining Mary J. Blige in concert Thursday night at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.

News4JAX spoke with K. Michelle, who says performing in North Florida is always a big deal for her because of her roots here. K. Michelle said this opportunity is humbling and has plenty of value.

“A lot of my life has been spent in Florida,” she said. “So it means everything every time I come to Florida because that is like a second home.”

K. Michelle hails from Memphis, Tennessee, but is a Florida A&M University alumna, graduating with honors.

She went to college on a music scholarship thanks in part to yodeling. That is when her musical career started taking shape. She might see some familiar faces in the audience while on stage.

“Knowing that there would be so many people there from what they call Duval [County] is really going to be an experience,” K. Michelle said. “A lot of my peers that I went to school with have already reached out to me and said they cannot wait to be there in the audience.”

The Soul Train Music Award and NAACP Image Award winner also pledged Delta Sigma Theta.

“My mom is a Delta. My sister is a Delta,” she said. “I am close with my line sisters. It is going to be a great feeling to be able to have such sisterly love in the building overall.

With hits like “Can’t Raise A Man,” “Cry” and “Scooch,” which topped the R&B charts this summer, K. Michelle hopes people find what they need emotionally through her music.

“No matter where I go, I think people are always accepting me as their sister, or their aunt, or their friend,” K. Michelle said.

The donation to Hubbard House is set for Thursday at 9:30 a.m.

The concert starts at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena at 8 p.m. The doors open at 7 p.m. A pre-concert event is set outside the arena for 5 p.m.

If you or someone you know is or has been a victim of domestic violence or abuse, here’s a list of resources available:

  • Hubbard House Hotline (904) 354-3114 or Textline (904) 210-3698
  • The Florida Domestic Violence Hotline, which will direct you to the nearest shelter, is 1-800-500-1119.
  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline is open 24 hours a day. The number is 1-800-799-SAFE.
  • The Micah’s Place (Nassau County) Domestic Violence Help Hotline is 904-225-9979.
  • The Quigley House (Clay County) hotline is 904-284-0061.
  • The Betty Griffin Center (St. Johns County) can be reached at 904-824-1555.

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