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July 7, 2022 34 mins

She is known to be the “Queen of Hip-Hop Soul.” Mary J. Blige came from a tough childhood before becoming a singing sensation. Blige found an escape from her life through music and eventually dropped out of school before working with Puff Daddy. Her first album, “What’s the 411?”, was a hit, followed by her second album “My Life”, which explored her emotional struggles. By her fourth album, Blige was finally finding herself and learning to forgive. She realized that it’s never too late to pursue her dreams, and years later came out with her seventh album, “The Breakthrough”, earning her 8 Grammy Awards. Blige continues to earn her legacy, performing for Barack Obama and collaborating across genres with artists like The Roots, U2, Drake and more. In 2022, Blige performed in the Super Bowl and was named as one of TIME’s 100 most influential people in the world. Although she was faced with heartbreak and setbacks, Mary J. Blige continues to define and expand the world of R&B music. Watch Behind the Music now on Paramount+.

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
She's an urban torch singer who set the music world
on fire. The flame inside Mary J. Blige was ignited
by a tough childhood, a broken home, and a father
who left when she was just nine years old. Mary J.
Blige exploded to become a singing sensation, but she still
couldn't find in her solace. The more her record sales rose,

the further Mary's spirits seemed to fall. It took a
brush with death from Mary to learn how to celebrate life. Now,
the queen of hip hop soul, Mary J. Blige the
story behind the music. Her street wise songs about hard

knocks and bitter heartbreak have made her a legend in
her own time. It's not like somebody just getting up
there saying trying to make some money or whatever. You
really feel what she's saying. It's like, oh, I just
really felt real love. I just really felt pain in
my heart and I felt it through Mary's voice. She's like,
are with the Frankler? You know what I'm staying. As

far as hip hop concern, with five platinum albums and
fifteen top ten singles, Mary J. Blige is a bona
fide superstar. Ironically, she has spent most of her career
dog by bouts of depression and self doubt. This woman
was in so much pain that all these wonderful things
that were happening to her, all she really wanted in

her life was to be loved for herself. Not the artist,
not the star, but just playing on. Mary, you have
the strangers that love you, but you don't believe in you.
You just singing. You're just an empty little kid singing.
More than a decade into her career, Mary j. Blige
is still searching for peace and is determined to find

the happiness that has eluded her for so long. I
don't know how to love myself yet, but I'm gonna learn.
It's not too late for Mary J. Blige to fulfill
her destiny to carry out would you know in her
dreams where she knew she wasn't gonna have Mary Jane
Blige's search for solace began in January nine seventy one
in the Bronx, New York. The second of two daughters

born to Thomas and Cora Blige, she saw a life
dark side from day one. It was a lot going
on in the house, and as a kid, I'm looking
at it like, you know, it wasn't good. It wasn't
none of it was good. It was all like abuse.
We would fight core and I, you know, verbally yawing,
physically using one another. You know, I grew up with

that because I've seen that a lot in my life.
And you hit me and you're going to get hit back.
We did more word than physical hits, you know, most
of the time, if it ain't hitting, it was me.
But as a father, he was a great father to
his kids. Yes, when he was there, he took farewell
of his kids, and he loved them. Despite their stormy relationship,

Thomas and Cora both noted on their children, and Thomas,
an ambitious jazz man, exposed Mary to music at an
early age, maybe one years old, saying Earth went and
five and hitting the noise. She's the sing my father.
You know, Mary adored him. You know it's like, oh, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, daddy,

just daddy Dad. But the older Mary, God, the less
she saw of her father. Touring small clubs throughout the
U S, Thomas Blige started hitting the road for months
at a time. I was selfish, cold blooded, ambitious and
music with my god. It came before my family. It
came before my sisters. They came before everybody. You know

how it is when you're young, you know, when you're
a man and women, money and his music and you
love music. Music gets a lot of people in trouble.
I just wanted to be with all the women's I
can be with. By the time Mary was nine, her
father had already moved out of their apartment once, and
in the summer of nineteen seventy nine, Thomas and Cora

split for good. It was a point where they just
couldn't get along anymore. And instead of fighting and fussing
all the time, you know, they both went their separate ways.
He left forever, you know, and and I loved him.
He was the best thing since I like since cook food,
you know. And when he left, I got angry at

him because he started something at me. He started something
at me, and then he just left me like that.
Short of money, Cora moved her girls to a tough
neighborhood in Yonkers, New York. The Slow Bomb housing project
was known to its residents as Slow Bomb, and from
day one, it had an explosive effect on Mary and

her family. From that day on, we were savage and
it was it was every man for themselves, and um,
we had to like take the fear and say, forget
the fear. We gotta fight for our lives out here.
To survive the streets, Mary adopted the rigid rules of
ghetto life, pushing aside her femininity. I mean, stuff like
that turns you into a tomboy. You start hanging around guys,

you start you actually become, you know, one of them.
The way you sit, where you talk, you know, and
the way you fight. Trust me, Mary is a thug.
Mary hung out with you know, she had her girlfriends,
but all the dudes, they always came out like with respect,
Like that's Mary right there, she are, like notice. But

Mary's tough exterior hit a growing internal anguish, one that
grew with each slide she received from the outside world.
Grown people were calling me big foot, big lips, donkey,
but you're ugly, You're never gonna finish school, you stupid,
And you reach a point where it's like nobody loves me.

For Mary, there was only one escape from the harsh
realities of life. She just singing the marror early in
the morning, and you know, she's just always singing. Walking
through the singing made me forget about all my problems
and how we were living. That was my happiness. By
the age of ten, Mary was singing regularly in a
church choir, but the poll of the streets soon proved

too powerful. As a team, Mary abandoned God's word for drugs,
alcohol and late night parties. Our party hard as a teenager.
I mean, I've experienced everything other than I never did
crack though. That's the only thing that I was like,
no way, but um, you know from we cocaine tabs,
stuff like that. You know. By the fall of night seven,

school was getting in the way of Mary's partying in
personal life, so at the age of sixteen, she dropped
out of high school, leaving her mother angry and disappointed.
It wasn't even the dropping out of school that mee
her sick. It was just everything. It was the you know,
the disobedience that you know they're doing the drugs, and
I guess the dropping out of school was like, you

know enough, that's I'll tell you what I said. You
don't feel like going to school, don't feel like taking
care of you anymore. I said, that's the deal, right,
I said, you don't go to school I don't take
care of you. And that's where, you know, that's when
I just said, Okay, well, I'm just do what I
do and do me. Mary moved out of her mother's

apartment and stayed with friends. She moved back in a
few months later, but she and her mother barely spoke still.
Even with all the turmoil, Mary continued to sing. In
the spring of at age seventeen, she came across a
recording booth set up for the public at a mall
near Yonkers. Mary stepped into the booth and sang soulfully
into the machine. I was afraid to hear it back

because you hear my voice back is like. I didn't
like it at that time, but you know, everybody loved it.
Mary had no idea, but her spur of the moment
song was about to change the course of hip hop music.
Seventeen year old Mary j. Blige seemed on the road
to nowhere when she made a karaoke tape at a
New York mall in the spring of a tape that

Mary soon shared with her mother's new boyfriend, Jimmy Dillard.
He loved it. He was all happy about it, and
he was like, I know somebody I can help you.
I know somebody, and I'm looking at him like, like,
who you know I can help me. The man Jimmy
had in mind was Jeff Red, an aspiring singer and
co worker at a nearby auto plant. I said, okay,

well you don't bring a tape, and you know, see
what I can do. When I heard the tape, I
heard a lot of pain and a lot of joy
at the same time, which was and still is the
voice of young America. In July of eighty nine, Jeff
signed a record deal with Uptown Entertainment, a fledgling label
that was home to rising stars like Heavy D and
Joe to See. Although Uptown had never signed a female artist,

Jeff gave Mary's tape to company CEO Andre Herrell. When
I heard her voice, it was so beyond anything else
I've ever experienced or had the opportunity work with. It
wasn't even I thought about signing her. I couldn't wait
to sign up. By the summer of nine ninety, Mary
was a regular at Uptown Records Manhattan headquarters. There, she

struck up a friendship with a young intern named Seawan
Puffy Combs. I didn't have no status. She didn't even
start her album yet. So we were like both two
of the low people on the totem poles, just you know,
hanging out, just talking about, you know, our dreams and aspirations.
While Mary was waiting to record her first album, Uptown's
A and R director quit, so Puffy convinced Andre Herrell

to give him the job. It was my job to
like get the artist started that were on the shelves,
and Mary was one of the artists that had. Our
project wasn't yet started. It was on the shelf. No
nobody really knew what to do it. Although Mary was
appearing on songs headlined by other Uptown acts, no one
knew how to market her as a solo artist typical
of mainstream R and B. I mean, I was just

a thug whatever you whatever that is, whatever it looked
like I was that I was not a girl. She's
straight out the hood, you know what I'm saying, Like,
you know, she she'll fight in a minute, she put
it down, should hang out all night, you know what
I'm saying. That the drink of forty, she rolled with
the guys, She rolled hard. You know, I just came

as a little tomboy, you know, and Puffy took a chance,
you know, because he's from the same elements, and he
knew exactly what I was, and he took a chance
for me. As Puffy and Mary began working together, Mary
got something going with another uptown artist when she began
dating Casey Haley of the R and B group Joe
to See. I always wanted this mysterious musician that was

halfway crazy and handsome, you know, the whole thing. I
wanted somebody like my father. As Casey's personal relationship with
Mary deepened, Puffy had a professional brainstorm. Mary's street vibe
was combined with her heartfelt voice to create an entirely
new musical genre called hip hop soul. No one had
ever made a connection. Let's use hip hop and R

and B together. So between Puffy and Mary, they came
up with this idea and it really really were No
one had a single real rule. Hip hop beats almost
to be like, you know, she was a rap artist.
You know, she was singing this girl is so she's
from the street. She has a lot of different things

that you can just infuse and make, you know, something different.
In the spring of ninety two, Uptown Records released Mary's
single Real Love, and it quickly became a radio smash. Still,
it would be months before Mary's debut album hit store shelves,
and until then the R and B Princess would live
like a pauper. Here. I am a star, don't even

know it. Real Love is blasting, just going up the
charts and doing well. But I'm still in the projects,
walking up the hill. No money still you know, survive,
being still fighting, still trying to get out. Everything still
remains same because we still just approve you still have anything.

So we were just sitting in the house like we
didn't really didn't understand it that it was like for real,
but it was for real. And when What's the four
one one hit record stores in the summer of nine,
Mary's soul driven stylings were hailed as funky, gritty and
relentlessly raw. I think it's that emotion and that rawness

that draw people to marry. They feel like when you
hear Mary's music, you feel as if you are experiencing
what she's singing about. My passion for performance and the
music that I deliver, it's just from pain, It's just
from struggling. So My passion comes from the real deal,

the truth of the street, the drugs, the whole entire thing.
With a stunning five top ten singles, What's the four
one One quickly went platinum, but Mary would soon discover
that success was not always sweet. Next oblige is adjust
to life in the Birds and later Mary's misery when
Behind the Music continues. Twenty one year old Mary J

Blige had hit it big in the summer of ninety
two with her album What's the four one One? But
at first the journey from poverty to platinum mac seemed unreal.
When everything happened in the record, you know, to golf
like it did, it still didn't really mean anything, man,
because I didn't understand. I didn't understand it. But producer
Puffy Combs did understand Mary had the makings of a

major star. Despite the fact that Mary had only one
album to her credit, Puppy annointed her the Queen of
hip hop soul. I don't no one really questioned it
because what she was doing was so unique and it
was hip hop soul and it was brand new. She
deserved the tie it off. I mean, you know who's
gonna do it, and it's never been done. He's gonna

do it in a big way. And when Mary J.
Blinde came in as the queen of hip hop saw
she kicked it door down. By the fall of ninety two,
the money from her music was finally reaching Mary, so
she decided to move her family out of the projects,
buying her mother and half brother a home on a
quiet street in suburban New Jersey. I'm like, like, where

the hello we at parent like holice every night and
people outside to music playing and all types of stuff
in my head, gunshot and then to just moved to
New Jersey, you know what I'm saying, Like that scaresy,
Like the gunsho. I thought, like, all right, that's gun shot.
But the christ was like the home in Jersey was

more than a change of scene for the Bliges. It
was also the beginning of a painfully slow healing process
between Mary and her mother. I still really wasn't seeing them.
I couldn't really deal with her. She couldn't deal with me.
She was still mad at me. I was like, you
know whatever. Despite her status as a platinum recording star,

Mary J. Blige was still haunted by the damage and
doubts of her childhood. I didn't have any self confidence.
I didn't have any self love. Everything was hate towards myself. So,
you know, how could I have expectations for someone to
love anything that I did. I didn't have any confidence
and what I was doing things were going good, But

things weren't going good. People think because you're singing and
you got the number one single or your album is platinum,
everything is happy, you know, everything just wasn't happy in public.
Mary hit her insecurity as well. We were still there
even though we had a little bit of money. Mentally, however,
we dressed it up, but we dressed it down. It
was about survival. It was about if you say something

negative to me, I'm gonna punch you in your faith.
If you say something negative to me, I'm gonna curse
you out. As her records sales grew, so did Mary's
bad reputation. She showed up late and even drunk to
several interviews with the media. The Mary J. Blige stories
of her, you know, demanding this and showing up late
to that and never taking her sunglasses off were kind

of legendary. I think that a lot of times in
a city, artists or artists from humble beginnings. They feel
intimidated by the media at first. You know, I didn't
know I was supposed to respect the interviewer because I
thought that they were trying to hurt me. I thought
everybody was trying to hurt Despite the turmoil, What's the

four one One continued it's phenomenal success, eventually selling three
million copies. In the winner of Mary began a world tour,
sharing the bill with her boyfriend Casey. Mary's relationship with
the singer had evolved into a painfully emotional affair. She
probably looked at Casey as a followed. I'm sure she did.

She missed. Casey and Mary were very interesting. The love
a fair It was a very dynamic relationship. In February
of three, during a performance on MTV Unplugged, the passion
and intensity of marrying Casey's relationship became impossible to ignore.
They did MTV Unplugged with Uptown and she doesn't duet

with Casey, and you see it, and that is it,
Like if you didn't know they were going out, watch
that video and you did, and the song itself, I
don't want to do anything else. It explains exactly how
I felt, you know, if I couldn't love you, I
didn't want to love anybody else. And you know, I
really did think I was in love, you know, you know,

but things hurt, Things hurt, and especially during during performances
with him. But as they continued the tour, Casey and
Mary's magnetic chemistry turned volatile. I remember Casey saying the duet,
and he was singing to the ladies, and evidently Mary
felt that he was being a little too friendly. And

during her intermission, I was standing in the audience, and
you know, five minutes passed, ten minutes past, fifteen minutes past.
Then if I hit me that there must be a beef.
So I read after and Mary and Cathy we're having
this screaming met. We both were young. There were things
running through his head, with things running through my head.

You know, things just weren't working to marry. Her anguish
over case he was directly related to her disappointment over
another man, her father, Thomas. The two had barely seen
each other since Mary was nine. I was mad at him,
you know, mad at everything, mad at the world, rolled
self love, no respect for myself. So I was drawing

people that treated me like I wanted to be treated.
As Mary's misery deepened, she relied more heavily than ever
on drugs and a blur of parties and people. There
was a lot of abusers around. There was a lot
of drugs around, and there was a lot of me
abusing drugs around. There was a lot of me staying
up for weeks and weeks with no sleep and going

to photo shoots high. We all were going down. In July,
Mary returned to the studio with Puffy Combs, who had
formed a new label called bad Boy Entertainment after being
fired from Uptown Records. Puffy encouraged Mary to find inspiration
in her anguish. You get what's to flow on one
and we address some issues and we basically wrote a

script for you. But it's now time for you to
be to the scriptwriter and write, really what's going on
in your life and how you feeling right now? That
she would just air it out, it would be a
reason for her to write about what she was going through.
I mean sometimes she would be crying on certain songs
that it would be crazy hot though, because it's the

filling behind the song. Within a few months, Mary had
a number of deeply personal songs songs that would form
the basis of her sophomore album, My Life. She had
a whole body of songs that just opened up her
broken heart to the whole world. And she had a
song of the title song of the album, My Life,
where I remember the lyrics he said, if you could

look in my eyes and see what I see. And
I was ready to die on My Life album, I
was ready to just end it all and move on.
So that's why My Life album is so very like
heart wrenching to people, and it grabs him and it
makes them cry. And because I was really down there,
you know, I was really calling, you know, calling for help.

I wanted I needed help, you know. In November, Mary J.
Blige released her second album, My Life. It provided a
painfully open and honest look at the struggles that plagued
the soulful singer. I didn't have any self love during
My Life album, so I felt like nobody loved me.
With two top ten hits, including I'm Going Down, My

Life quickly went platinum, but with her turbulent relationship with
Casey coming to an end, Mary was in no mood
to celebrate. Drugs started up heavier than ever, and you know.
The lack of that, the self love was even more effective.
So instead of taking pills, I figured I'll sniff my
life away. I had to do drugs until I dropped it.

I remember the sisters skinny, but she was like real,
real skinny. And I remember when I hugged us, I
didn't like how skinny my sisters hands were, and you know,
I started crying because I was like, what are you doing?
You know what's going on, you know what's up. But
just as she seemed on the verge of losing control,
Mary suddenly got the chance to begin healing one of

the most painful wounds of her life. We did a
show in Michigan, and my sister said, Mary, Daddy's out there.
And as mad as I was at him, you know,
for so long, I went up to him and I
just hugged him and cried, and I was just happy,
you know, that he was there. It felt like my
daddy was home. I told her, I'm sorry for being

at a s s you know, for being um selfish.
And from that day on, we had to learn how
to forgive and understand that nobody owes neither one of
us anything. We owe it to each other. To love
one another. Mary began a slow reconciliation with her father,

only to find herself suddenly competing for the attention of
Puffy Combs. Puffies newly formed record label, Bad Boy Entertainment
had become a hotbed for up and coming talent, like
singer Faith Evans. It was her and then me when
he used to be me, and then everybody else, and
I needed all the attention. I'm not saying this, and
you know in an arrogant, nasty way, but I needed

the attention. She talked about it on right here on
h Okay. She she's never nobody knows how why we
really um broke up. I don't know why we really
broke I didn't. I didn't know, I started after while
getting hints. In the spring of nine, after weeks of tension,
Mary called it quits with Puffy, walking away from the
man who had engineered her initial success him in the

studio one day and was like being married on work again.
She just took control of a situation and see all
of a sudden went from a young little girl to
just a woman. Too many It was a shocking move,
but to marry it was a necessary step toward taking
command of her life. I did it on my own

because everyone else was like, you can't do it without Puffy,
can't marry. But I didn't care anymore about doing it
with or without him, because you know, I knew that
I needed that attention and that he was given the other,
you know, the other female. I love you still, but
I have to move on. But as Mary tried to

make a new start, she was also dealing with some
old demons. In July, she was profiled in an Interview
magazine article that quickly became notorious. In a conversation with
writer Veronica Webb, Mary came across as a drinking, cursing
R and B diva who was always ready to rumble.
I mean everybody was faxing that article xerox. In that article,

you had to go get that copy of Interview because
Veronica Webb let Mary j Wise have it. Mary says
she was shocked by the article and felt that Veronica
Webb and taken advantage of her openness. The liquor was
off the record. It was all about me and her drinking.
She was drinking with me. Then she gets in the
magazine and says, this is what's bringing Mary j. Blige

joy nowadays. Oh, I was so heated Veronica Webb and
says nothing she reported was off the record. Whatever happened,
the incident was another in a series of events that
caused Mary to question where her life was going. I
was still fighting for my identity and you know, trying
to figure out who I was and trying to get it,
but not quite getting it because I'm still abusing myself

from drugs to of men. You know, it just seems
like everything's like a nightmare to her, and I remember
her saying, you know, this is not worth it. In
the summer of ninety six, in the midst of her
soul searching, Mary says she had a frightening experience in
the world of drugs she frequently inhabited. While she is

reluctant to describe the incident in detail, Mary says she
found herself in a confrontation with someone who threatened her life.
The breaking point was when a person literally like the
devil showed up and said I hate you, I'm I'm
gonna kill you. And I don't want to go into
too deep, but let me just say this, when your
life is in the middle of somebody's hands, you I mean,

you start realizing there's something wrong with me. The terrifying
scare was an epiphany for Mary. I said, I'm nut
and I can't blame you know, and then you have
to stop pointing your finger at everybody. Let to stop
being like you didn't you're the reason. You gotta split
yourself open, start digging, Start digging, and the thing that

scares people. It hurts, yeah, but it will hurt if
you die tomorrow too, So get it together right now
so you can live long. From that moment on, Mary
was dedicated to improving herself at her career only to
strong survive. I mean, we all do stupid stuff like
peer pressure. We end up on drugs and we end up.

But the bottom line is you gotta some kind of
way come out. All I know is that one day
I refused to die. Next no more drama when behind
the music continues. In the spring of Mary released her

third album, Share My World and Showcase a woman in
the midst of a radical transformation. Share My World she
came out with the first single where she plays this
executive and she's talking to a little girl. Then she
goes to her office and she's on a runway and
Mary was showing the world this is me. This is

a diverse woman, a strong woman, and a woman who
is in control of her own destiny. Share My World
sold two and a half million copies, giving Mary the
confidence she needed to make her own choices at her
own music. She's been in this game and seeing it
from so many different levels. She got a chance to

really get out and come back and see what really
may sense. Mary was blossoming into a bona fide superstar,
and when she returned to the studio in to record
her fourth album, she was surrounded by legends like Aretha Franklin,
Eric Clapton, and Elton John. I got a cult from
j Boba from n C I reckons and said May

he was, I'm gonna do a song based on Benny
gets what I come and playing on the record. Uh,
And I said absolutely, there is no convincing to be done.
It was something that they all saw as a fantastic
opportunity and honor if you will, Um. There's so much
love for Mary and so much respect for her talent
from these great artists. She was backed by a star

studied cast. Mary had a role in writing almost every
song on the self titled album, and the deeply personal
record became a musical milestone. The bar was very, very
high because Mary knew that this was an important record
for her. It was her maturing, her coming out. She
kind of blossoms slowly and share my world. You see

a kind of stronger Mary and almost with an attitude,
and then I'm Mary. All of a sudden, there's this introspective, spiritual,
sensual Mary evolving that um kind of socked people. It's like, wow,
the softer side of Mary. The album was yet another
platinum smash for Blige, and the best was yet to come.

In August of Mary J. Blige released her star studied
fourth album. It revealed the woman who was finally finding
peace after two decades of turmoil. Shaka Kan told me
one thing, and I would never forget it. She said,
get out of your bloom. Wait. I guess that means
learned how to forgive you so well, whatever it is

you can't change, and let God take it all us.
Mary renounced drugs and renewed her relationship with God, helping
her to heal the rift with her father once and
for all. My dad around the same time and I
was on drugs. He was on drugs. We both were
Aaron Drugg at the exact same time. He said, I

need you to talk to me because there's some things
that you know that you can help me with. I
don't take sept the spirit of God about this disease.
I do the listening. I'm I'm the child. I listened
to her, and that made me fall in love like
and like go back to a little girl and grab
on his legs and asked him not to leave me,

because not only was he having problem as a grown man,
he wanted to get advice from his baby girl. That
means a lot for him. He wanted to get advice
for me. And I forgive him, you know, for everything
he's done, because that's what Gods is doing. Right out
of the dinner and the relationship between Mary and her
father isn't the only one that is mended. Time has

brought Mary and her mother back together too, esus. Sweet.
She just ain't married to me, that's all I can say,
you know. And she's a loving daughter, very much loving daughter.
You know, we get along now, we get along real good.
You know. I love her. She's you know, she's the
type of one where you gotta let her be her,

you know, and don't step in a way that Mary's
life has always been mapped out by her musing. So
when she released her fifth album, it was aptly entitled
No More Drama. No More Drama really reflects Mary and
her thoughts and really is now almost like a travel
long for where Mary is out in her life. Title

No More Drama comes basically from not having a dealing
with anything that is going to keep me down anymore.
Mary has turned into this being that loves everything and
see good in everything. Released in August two thousand, law
No More Drama hit the top of the R and

B charts within weeks, propelled by the number one smash
single Family Affair. It is powerful evidence that Mary's reign
is the Queen of hip hop soul has only just
begun professionally in the future asity Mary J. Blige going
to the Rock and Long Hall of Fame, making big
records and just cross from fields and just you know,

being felt all over the world. It's not going to
be a situation where, you know, people get tired of
listening to Mary. That's not ever gonna happen. She's gonna
be here until she's ready. To retire. With a lifetime
of drama behind her, Mary says she can now look
to the future and being a role model to those
who follow her. I feel a responsibility to my people

to let them know that dreams do come true. And
if you're hanging around dream killers, get away from them fast.
Nobody in your house wants to hear you. But keep singing,
keep being happy, keep purning, and keeps driving because it's
never too late, and don't let anybody tell you that
it's not. Two years after No More Drama, Mary J.

Blige reunited with producer Sean Combs for her sixth album,
Love and Life. In two thousand five, she released her
seventh studio album, The Breakthrough, which was nominated for eight
Grammy Awards, winning Best Female R and B Vocal Performance,
Best A and B Song, and Best R and B Album.
In two thousand nine, Blige took the stage at We

Are One, the Obama Inaugural celebration at the Lincoln Memorial,
to perform Lean on Me. Mary J. Blige's music reaches
across genres. She has collaborated with a wide variety of musicians,
including the Roots, YouTube, fifty Cent Drake, and Andrea Bocelli.
In June, Amazon Studios released a documentary to celebrate the

twenty five anniversary of her album My Life. Later that year,
Blige announced the formation of her own record label, Mary
Jane Productions. Three months later, she released her fourteenth studio album,
Good Morning Gorgeous. In two, Mary J. Blige took the
stage at the Super Bowl fifty six halftime show alongside

Dr dre Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, fifty Cent, and
Anderson Pack. Earlier this year, Time named Mary J. Blige
one of the one hundred most influential people in the world.
Through the setbacks, the heartaches, and the drama, the Queen
of Hip hop soul has helped define and expand the

world of R and B music. Listen and subscribe to
Behind the Music on the I Heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts,
or wherever you get your favorite podcasts. Be sure to
rate and review Behind the Music on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
What more episodes. You can watch a remastered best of
the vault and new episodes of Behind the Music only

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