Akon & Mary J. Blige Celebrates Black History Month W/ VH1

 VH1 will celebrate black history month with a string of new programs and has linked up with some big names in hip-hop and R&B to do so, including Akon, Mary J. Blige, and Erykah Badu.

Starting tonight (Feb. 4), Akon and Nick Cannon will recall how they achieved the American dream on the VH1 series, "Rags To Riches," airing 10 and 10:30 p.m. EST respectively.

On February 25th at 8 p.m. EST, VH1 will premiere its "Storytellers" program with Mary J. Blige. In the hour long show, which was recently taped in NYC's Hammerstein Ballroom, Blige will perform some of her biggest career hits and explain the inspiration behind her tracks.

The following day on VH1 Soul, Erykah Badu will also perform and share the backstories to some of her chart topping hits on "SoulStage" at 9 p.m.

For those who missed it the first time, on Monday, February 11th at 8 p.m. EST, VH1's High Definition channel MHD will re-run "Storytellers: Jay-Z: Life of an American Gangster." The hour-long program will have Jay performing and reflecting on the music from his latest album, American Gangster.

In partnership with Ebony and Jet Magazines, VH1 Soul will also begin on the "Soul Influencers" campaign, exploring the connections between contemporary legends and today's up and coming icons. Among the featured legends are Stevie Wonder, George Clinton and Tina Turner, who all offer candid advice and anecdotes in promos set to air throughout the month.

For a complete schedule of the network's upcoming Black History month programs, check your local listings.