*This past year has been a very productive one for Hip Hop Soul diva Mary J. Blige, whose latest work, “My Life II: The Journey Continues, Act 1,” is on shelves now.

She celebrates the success of her album, the completion of newest flick, “Rock of Ages” and of course, mountains of awards.

On Sunday night, though, at the American Music Awards, the singer had a moment to share her heart about rapper Heavy D, who was laid to rest over the weekend.

“Heavy had a huge effect on all of us and he was inspiring and optimistic,” she stated.

Blige grew up in Yonkers, N.Y., only five miles from Heavy’s hometown of Mt. Vernon. According to The Boom Box, the two were also labelmates on Andre Harrell’s Uptown Records.

“He just always gave us great advice,” she recalled. “He just always wanted us to do good. He was like a father figure to us and I’m going to miss him.”