Mary J. Blige , in full Mary Jane Blige, (born January 11, 1971, Bronx, New York, U.S.), American singer-songwriter and actress who has been called the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul.
Her childhood is characterized by the absence of his father who abandons the family very quickly. Raised by her mother with her older sister, LaTonya, she grew up in a city in the Bronx, in the suburbs of New York. She knows a difficult adolescence, and will find refuge in the music. Since the age of 7 she has been singing in the church choir. Later, she participated in singing competitions and then recorded a cover of an Anita Baker song.
Spotted by Jeff Redd, a talent scout for the music label Uptown records, she signed her first professional contract in 1989. At Uptown, she met Puff Daddy who took her under his wing and helped her achieve her first What is 411? released in July 1992. The album met with some success thanks to the titles Real Love and Reminisce. In 1994, the singer released an autobiographical album, My life, in which she evokes her fight against addictions.
In 1997, after ending her collaboration with Puff Daddy, she released her third album, Share my world, which quickly rose to the top of the charts with 5 million albums sold. The album is followed by a long tour whose live album, The tour, is certified gold. Mary J. Blige multiplies prestigious collaborations for the next album; Elton John, Eric Clapton and George Michael collaborated on the album Mary which arrived in stores during the summer of 1999. The consecration came in 2001, with the release of the album No more drama which was a huge success by the Family Affair tube. The following albums The Breaktrough (2005) and Growing pains (2007) and Stronger with each tear (2009) also achieved great success.
In 2011, the singer released My Life II…, an album largely inspired by her experience. The Journey resumed, but unlike in 1994, the public’s reaction was mixed. The singer then decided to branch out in order to entice the people once more. A Mary Christmas, a Christmas album, was released (2013). She released the album Strength of a Woman in April 2017, which featured a number of duets, including one with Kanye West called Love Yourself.
At the same time, Mary J. Blige has appeared in a number of television shows (Entourage, Ghost Whisperer, Empire, Black-ish, Murder…) Since the early 2000s, she has also had minor roles in films such as Prison Song, Rock Forever, and Black Nativity. In 2017, she appeared in the drama Mudbound, directed by Dee Rees, for which she received an Oscar nomination for best actress in a supporting role.
In the 1990s, Mary J. Blige had a turbulent relationship with singer Cedric Hailey of the group Jodeci, and then with singer Case. She met Kendu Isaacs, who worked in the music industry, in the early 2000s. In December 2003, the couple married. However, after more than a decade of marriage, the singer filed for divorce in July 2016.
Mary J. Blige performed alongside Dr. Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and Kendrick Lamar during the Super Bowl 56 halftime show on Sunday at SoFi Stadium. The five music legends have a combined total of 43 Grammy Awards and have produced numerous hit songs.