Mary J. Blige Proves The 'Strength Of A Woman' Is Mightier Than Any Obstacle In Her Way
By Isha Thorpe
May 4, 2017
**WARNING: Some explicit language**
On Tuesday (May 2) night, Mary J. Blige celebrated releasing her 13th studio album, Strength Of A Woman, at her iHeartRadio album release party.
Diehard R&B lovers pulled up to the iHeartRadio Theater in New York City to attend the much-anticipated event. Power 105.1's Angie Martinez hosted the fun time; which consisted of an in-depth Q&A session with the singer/songwriter, snippets of her project's new songs being blasted through the theater's speakers, and a live performance of some of Blige's old and new hits.
Like all of us, Martinez couldn't ignore how amazing Blige looked at the event. The recording artist admitted that she works out about four times a week, in order to keep her sanity. Like many of her fans know, Blige is now going through a divorce that she describes as "humiliating" and "disgusting" with estranged husband, Kendu Isaacs, whom she married back in 2003. Allegedly, Isaacs cheated on Blige with anther woman, reportedly someone close to her.
“Everyday is a process because it’s a lot that’s going on. But, there’s a lot of light in all this darkness," the singer told Martinez. "The beautiful thing is that I got the chance to take something so dark and give my fans a smile on their faces, and give them something that they can appreciate. Every single day it’s a challenge, it’s a trial. But, through this trial, I’m going to take care of myself, work out, pray God, keep my head up…and smile through it."
Blige continued: “It’s a very wounding time because you’re so effected by what happened. It was so much hard and betrayal…But, while it’s heavy…I gotta keep myself going. I gotta keep the light going."
This time is extremely hard for the star. Creating Strength Of A Woman has been very therapeutic for Blige. It's her way of relieving herself all of the negativity that she's faced from this impending divorce, and the dishonesty that caused it. “You found out you [weren't] what this person wanted all these years and that somebody was better. That’s very hard." Blige said.
“It’s a release. If I didn’t share it with you, I would probably be dead somewhere…" she said about recording the new album's songs. "I know that I have a mission. I have something that started in 1994 when I put out the My Life album…I’ve had these fans since then. And when we’re in these concerts, and these shows and interviews; we heal together."
In between the emotional conversation, some of Blige's new tracks were being played. They included "Indestructible," "Thank You," "Survivor, "Glow Up," and "Set Me Free" -- which Blige co-wrote with Jazmine Sullivan.
When Martinez asked her what her favorite songs on Strength Of A Woman were, Blige said: “From one to five, I’m just going crazy with my middle finger up. That’s my release moment. 'Set Me Free' is a release moment, 'Glow Up' is a release moment. I’m just getting things off my chest…These songs are just like purging moments where I’m getting my own therapy for my own music."
Believe it or not, but before the new album dropped, there was a point when Blige was doubting herself. The singer revealed that she had naysayers telling her that her time in music was over. One of these people was her own estranged spouse who was telling her hurtful things like, "You’re fans are tired of you…You timed out."
Determined to not be broken, Blige is overcoming this devastating time that she admits is the hardest thing she ever had to deal with, one day at a time. "If I take care of myself and not give up on myself, I won’t fall victim to the pity parties, and the sadness and the stupidness that comes with it. I just have to keep building myself up," she said.
Ironically enough, the name of Blige's Strength Of A Woman album wasn't inspired by her divorce drama. “All of the stuff that I’m going through now is not why I titled it Strength Of A Woman. I named the album two years ago," the artist admitted. “I always do that. I titled No More Drama a year before I started writing it…I just put it in the universe and I confess it."
And then came the live performance! Blige blessed her fans by singing her infamous 1992 hit "Real Love," as well as songs from Strength Of A Woman like "U + Me" and "Thick Of It." While singing her new songs, the star was visibly emotional. Nevertheless, the strength she showed onstage while facing the toughest time in her life made us very proud of her. Mary J. Blige showed us tonight that the strength of a woman is mightier than any obstacle in her way.
Strength Of A Woman is now available for purchase here.
Photos: Katherine Tyler for iHeartRadio