The wave of high-pitched shrieks alerted fans that "MJB" had arrived at the accessories section of Nordstrom in Towson Town Mall.
"Yes!" screamed Lesley Jones, who wore a T-shirt with an airbrushed picture of her idol, Mary J. Blige.
Jones quickly composed herself, wiped a strand of hair from her face, and waited for her turn to take of picture with Blige, who was busy shaking the hands of a number of onlookers as she made her way to a display showcasing more than a half-dozen pairs of sunglasses from her Melodies by MJB eyewear line.
Always a trend-setter, Blige was dressed in a green camouflage military jacket, jeggings, black riding boots, large gold hoop earrings, and a pair of glasses from her line.
"I just kind of do what's comfortable for me and I grow from there," Blige said in reference to her sense of style.
Karla Johnson, who had stood in line since noon in anticipation of Blige's appearance at the department store, spent most of her time singing along to Blige's songs, which were blasting from nearby speakers.
"She looks fabulous," exclaimed Johnson, a lifelong fan of Blige, a nine-time Grammy award-winning songstress who has been dubbed the queen of hip hop, soul and R&B.
"She's short! She's thin! Oh my gosh! She's beautiful," said Johnson, who dyed her hair blond to match the stylish singer's.
Hundreds of fans like Johnson and Jones got to meet Blige after shelling out between $165 to $225 to purchase a pair of sunglasses from the Melodies by MJB line. In addition to promoting her new line, Blige was in the area as part of a musical tour with Jazmine Sullivan, El DeBarge and Miguel. The four will perform Thursday at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Va.
Johnson embraced Blige, exchanged in a quick conversation, and posed for a picture. The entire process transpired in a matter of moments. But the beaming expression of Johnson's face hinted that memories of the encounter would last a lifetime.