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General information  

  • Real name : Mary Jane Blige
  • Date of birth : 11/11/1971

Alias  

  • Mary Jane Blige
  • Brook Lynn
  • Queen of Hip Hop Soul
  • Queen Of Hip-Hop Soul
  • La Reine du Hip-Hop & Soul
  • The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul
  • MJB
  • Blige J. Mary

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Mary J. Blige (1971)

Mary Jane Blige

Type :  

  Summary  

Mary Jane Blige is an American singer-songwriter, record producer and occasional actress. She is a recipient of nine Grammy Awards and four American Music Awards, and has recorded eight multi-platinum albums. She is the only artist with Grammy Award wins in Pop, Rap, Gospel, and R&B. Blige is one of the first artists to popularize the fusion of R&B and Hip-Hop sounds, hitherto known as hip-hop soul. The success of her inaugural song "Real Love" and album What's the 411? earned her the honorific title "Queen of Hip-Hop/Soul." For her part in combining hip hop and soul in the early 1990s and its subsequent commercial success, Blige received the World Music Awards' "Legends Award". In 2007 the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers awarded her its coveted "Voice of Music" Award for her outstanding contributions. ASCAP official Jeanie Weems stated that "[Blige's] music has been the voice of inspiration to women worldwide in both struggle and triumph." That same year, Time included her in its "Time 100" list, a collection of the year's 100 most influential individuals around the world.

Blige started her musical career in 1992, releasing her multi-platinum US selling debut album, What's the 411? on MCA Records and Uptown. What's the 411? gave Blige her first Billboard 200 top ten album, a streak that has continued since the release of her latest album, My Life II... The Journey Continues , Blige's tenth consecutive album to debut in the top 10 on the Billboard 200. Of her ten efforts, seven have debuted as either number one or two on the chart, a massive feat for any R&B/Hip-Hop artist. For the last twenty years, Blige's work has defined the course of R&B/Hip-Hop music. Her albums What's the 411?, My Life, No More Drama, and The Breakthrough have been cited by many artists and critics as some of the most glaring works of the genre in the last 30 years. My Life, in particular, is considered one of the greatest albums ever recorded according to numerous noteworthy publications, including Rolling Stone ,
Time, and 'Vibe'. In 2005, after a slight decline in popularity due to disappointing sales of her 2003 studio album Love & Life, Blige achieved newfound success with the release of The Breakthrough. The album stormed atop the Billboard 200 chart with sales of 727,000, which at the time was the largest first-week sales for any female R&B/Hip-Hop artist. Her seventh effort sold over 3 millions copies in the United States and 7 million worldwide. It also earned her three Grammy Awards, nine Billboard Music Awards, and two American Music Awards -- a successful sweep of the recording industry's "Big Three."

Blige also earned high remarks for her work in film and fragrance. She starred in the 2009 Tyler Perry box-office hit I Can Do Bad All By Myself and will play a lead role in the film Rock of Ages, which is set to be released to theaters in 2012. She is a recipient of two Golden Globe Awards nominations for her musical contributions to the films Bobby and The Help, and is a 2012 front-runner for the Academy Award for Best Original Song after making the category's short-list with "The Living Proof." Blige is named to play music icon Nina Simone in the upcoming biopic Nina. In partnership with the Home Shopping Network and Carol's Daughter, Blige released her popular "My Life" perfume. The perfume broke HSN records by selling 65,000 bottles during its premier. The scent went on to win two FiFi Awards, including the prestigious "Fragrance Sales Breakthrough" award.

As of 2010, Blige has sold over 50 million albums and 15 million singles worldwide.According to Billboard Magazine Mary J. Blige is one of the top 5 most successful Rhythm & Blues acts of the last decade. The magazine also lists her 2006 hit song Be Without You as the single biggest R&B song of the last decade, as it spent an unparalleled 15 weeks atop the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. In sum, she has earned nine Grammy Awards, twenty Billboard Music Awards, four American Music Awards, four Bet Awards, and one MTV Music Award. In 2011, Vh1 ranked Blige as the 80th greatest artist of all time. Moreover, she is ranked number 100 on the list of "100 greatest singers of all time" by Rolling Stone magazine.

  Biography  

 early life
Blige was born in the Bronx, New York. She is the second of four children born to parents Cora, a nurse, and Thomas Blige, a jazz musician. Blige's mother was an avid fan of R&B/Soul music and constantly spun Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Patti Labelle, Chaka Khan, and Jean Carne records when Blige was a child. These artists had a profound impact on Blige at a very young age. Blige was taught to sing by her father, who later abandoned Blige and sister LaTonya following his divorce from Cora Blige in 1980. At the age of five, Blige was molested by a family friend.

Blige spent her early years in Richmond Hill, Georgia, where she sang in a Pentecostal church. She later moved to Schlobohm Apartments in Yonkers, New York, where she lived with her mother, older sister, five cousins, and two aunts. She dropped out of Roosevelt High School in the eleventh grade.

At the age of 17, Blige recorded an impromptu cover of Anita Baker's "Caught Up In the Rapture" at a recording booth in the Galleria Mall in White Plains, New York. Her mother's boyfriend at the time later played the cassette for Jeff Redd, a recording artist and A&R runner for Uptown Records. Redd sent it to the president and CEO of the label, Andre Harrell. Harrell met with Blige and in 1989 she was signed to the label, becoming the company's youngest and first female artist.

Blige's early years consisted of session work for the likes of Jeff Redd, who introduced her during a live performance at the Apollo Theater. A year later, she sang the hook on Father MC's hit "I'll Do 4 U" and was prominently featured, singing, at the end of the video.

 career
 What's the 411? (1992–1993)

Production for Blige's debut album began in 1992, with Sean "Puffy" Combs, who was at the time a 19-year-old A&R executive at Uptown, selected as the executive producer of the project. When first introducing Mary J. Blige to Uptown Executives at a convention, Sean Combs originally nicknamed Blige the "Queen of Ghetto Love;" however, Andre Harrell, Combs's supervisor, found the name unsatisfactory and subsequently dubbed her the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul.

Establishing Blige's niche in R&B became the paramount goal for Sean Combs. Given the fact that most female R&B acts during that time were very glamorous and refined, Combs purposely molded Blige into the exact opposite so as to underscore her uniqueness and maintain her connection to her urban roots. From her fashion style to her sound, Blige was completely different from most female artists in the early 1990s. Baseball caps, combat boots, and baggy clothes constituted her signature style. In regards to her music, on July 28, 1992, Uptown Records released What's the 411?. Blige's inaugural album ushered in a new era and genre of R&B music. Blige's raw and gritty sound was utterly antithetical to that of pop icons Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, and Janet Jackson. Her East Coast hip hop, Northern Urban City-influenced sound became the blueprint for artists such as Faith Evans, Aaliyah, TLC, Destiny's Child, Monica, Ashanti, Pink, and Keyshia Cole.

"You Remind Me", the album's first single, peaked at number one on the R&B singles chart that summer. The second single, "Real Love", was released in the fall. It too topped the R&B singles chart, and became Blige's first top ten Hot 100 single, peaking at number seven. Both singles were certified gold for their sales volume. More What's the 411? singles followed into 1993, including "Sweet Thing", a cover of Rufus's "Sweet Thing", and "Love No Limit". By the end of the year, What's the 411? had sold three million copies. Blige, meanwhile, released a hip hop single "You Don't Have to Worry". After the success of What's the 411, Sean "Puffy" Combs hailed the singer as "the queen of hip-hop soul". The name of her album, What's the 411? stems from her previous job as Directory Assistance operator. The album's success spun off What's the 411? Remix, a remix album released in December that was used to extend the life of the What's the 411? singles on the radio into 1994, as Blige recorded her follow-up album. With combined sales of over 5 million albums and singles from her debut album, Blige was the best selling female artist on the Uptown label.

 My Life (1994–1996)
On November 29, 1994, Uptown Records released Blige's second album, My Life which was again overseen by Combs who also produced more than half of the album along with Washington DC native Carl "Chucky" Thompson , who, with Combs, co-produced all but one of the album's tracks, and took over as Blige's manager. Unlike What's the 411?, Blige co-wrote a large body of the material, basing it on her personal life.

"Be Happy", the album's single, peaked at number 29 and number six on the Hot 100 and R&B singles chart, respectively. In early 1995, it was followed up with a cover of Rose Royce's 1976 hit "I'm Goin' Down", which became her first top 20 hit in the UK, peaking at number 12. Other My Life singles include "You Bring Me Joy" and "I Love You". "Mary Jane " and "My Life" received heavy radio play, despite never being officially released as singles apart from the UK, where "Mary Jane " became Blige's second top 20 hit from the album there. My Life was eventually certified triple platinum. In spite of its success and her growing fame, Blige later admitted that she was simultaneously dealing with long time bouts of drug addiction, alcoholism, and depression, as well as an abusive relationship with then-boyfriend K-Ci Hailey of Jodeci.

Blige involved herself in several outside projects, recording a cover of Aretha Franklin's " A Natural Woman" for the soundtrack to the FOX series New York Undercover, and "Everyday It Rains" (co-written by R&B singer Faith Evans) for the soundtrack to the hip hop documentary, The Show. That summer she collaborated with rapper Method Man on his song, "I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need to Get By". Later in the year, she recorded the Babyface-penned and produced "Not Gon' Cry", for the soundtrack to the motion picture Waiting to Exhale. The platinum-selling single rose to number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs in early 1996, and became her biggest commercial hit at the time. Blige won her first Grammy Award – 'Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group' for her collaboration with Method Man. My Life was also nominated for Best R&B Album, but lost to TLC's CrazySexyCool.

Throughout 1996, Blige appeared in collaborations with Ghostface Killah, on their co-written single, "All That I Got Is You", though in the video, Blige was replaced by Wu-Tang affiliate, Tekitha, due to scheduling conflicts. She also collaborated with then up-and-coming musicians, singer Case, on his breakthrough single, "Touch Me, Tease Me", featuring Foxy Brown and also appeared on rapper Jay-Z's single, "Can't Knock the Hustle", released off the rapper's debut album, Reasonable Doubt.

 Share My World (1997–1998)

On April 22, 1997, MCA Records released Blige's third album, Share My World. By now, she and Combs had dissolved their working relationship. In his place were the Trackmasters who executive produced the project along with Steve Stoute. Sharing production duties were producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, R. Kelly, Babyface and Rodney Jerkins.

The album was made at a time where Blige was trying to "get her life together", by trying to overcome drugs and alcohol, as well as the ending of her relationship with Hailey. After an encounter with a person who threatened her life the previous year, she tried to quit the unhealthy life style and make more upbeat, happier music. As a result, songs such as "Love Is All We Need" and "Share My World", were made.

Share My World debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and spawned five hit singles: "Love Is All We Need" , "I Can Love You" (featuring Lil' Kim), "Everything", "Missing You" and "Seven Days." The album became Blige's most commercially successful; selling three million copies in the U.S.. In February 1997, Blige performed her hit at the time, "Not Gon' Cry" at the 1997 Grammy Awards, which gained her third Grammy Award nomination, her first for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, as Blige was recording the follow-up to My Life.In early 1998, Blige won an American Music Award for "Favorite Soul/R&B Album." That summer she embarked on the Share My World Tour, which resulted in a Gold-certified live album released later that year, simply titled The Tour. The album spawned one single, "Misty Blue."

 Mary (1999–2000)
On August 17, 1999, Blige's fourth album, titled Mary was released. It marked a departure from her more familiar hip hop-oriented sound; this set featured a more earthy, whimsical, and adult contemporary-tinged collection of songs, reminiscent of 1970s to early 1980s soul.

On December 14, 1999, the album was re-released as a double-disc set. The second disc was enhanced with the music videos for the singles "All That I Can Say" and "Deep Inside" and included two bonus tracks: "Sincerity" and "Confrontation" (a collaboration with hip hop duo Funkmaster Flex & Big Kap originally from their 1999 album The Tunnel). The Mary album was critically praised, becoming her most nominated release to date, and was certified double platinum It was not as commercially successful as Blige's prior releases, though all of the singles: "All That I Can Say", "Deep Inside", "Your Child", and "Give Me You" performed considerably on radio. In the meantime, MCA used the album to expand Blige's demographic into the nightclub market, as club-friendly dance remixes of the Mary singles were released. The club remix of "Your Child" peaked at number-one on the Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play chart in October 2000.

In 2001, a Japan-only compilation, Ballads, was released. The album featured covers of Stevie Wonder's "Overjoyed", and previous recordings of Aretha Franklin's " A Natural Woman" and Dorothy Moore's "Misty Blue".

 No More Drama (2001–2002)
On August 28, 2001, MCA released Blige's fifth studio album, No More Drama. The album's first single, "Family Affair" became her first number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100, where it remained for six consecutive weeks. It was followed by two further hit singles, the European only single "Dance for Me" featuring Common and the Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis-produced title track , which sampled "Nadia's Theme", the piano-driven theme song to the daytime drama The Young and the Restless.

Though the album sold nearly two million copies in the U.S., MCA was underwhelmed by its sales, and subsequently repackaged and re-released the album on January 29, 2002. The No More Drama re-release featured a new album cover, deleted three of the songs from the original track listing, while adding two brand-new songs—one of which was the fourth single and top twenty Hot 100 hit "Rainy Dayz", , plus two remixes; one of the title track, serviced by Puff Daddy and the single version of "Dance for Me" featuring Common. The album sold another million-plus units in the U.S. and seven million worldwide. Blige won a Grammy for 'Best Female R&B Vocal Performance' for the song "He Think I Don't Know." In April 2002, Blige performed with Shakira with the song "Love Is a Battlefield" on VH1 Divas show live in Las Vegas, she also performed "No More Drama" and "Rainy Dayz" as a duet with the returning Whitney Houston.

On July 22, 2002, MCA released Dance for Me, a collection of club remixes of some of her past top hits including the Junior Vasquez remix of "Your Child", and the Thunderpuss mix of "No More Drama." This album was released in a limited edition double pack 12" vinyl for DJ-friendly play in nightclubs.

 Love & Life (2003–2004)
On August 26, 2003, Blige's sixth album Love & Life was released on Geffen Records Blige heavily collaborated with her one-time producer Sean Combs for this set. Due to the history between them on What's the 411? and My Life, which is generally regarded as their best work, and Blige having just come off of a successful fifth album, expectations were high for the reunion effort.

Despite the album debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 and becoming Blige's fourth consecutive UK top ten album, Love & Life's lead-off single, the Diddy-produced "Love @ 1st Sight", which featured Method Man, barely cracked the top ten on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, while altogether missing the top twenty on the Hot 100 . The following singles, "Ooh!", "Not Today" featuring Eve, "Whenever I Say Your Name"featuring Sting on the international re-release, and "It's a Wrap" fared worse. Although the album was certified platinum, it became Blige's lowest-selling to date. Critics and fans alike largely panned the disc, citing a lack of consistency and noticeable ploys to recapture the early Blige/Combs glory. Blige and Combs reportedly struggled and clashed during the making of this album, and again parted ways upon the completion of it.

The album became Blige's first album in six years to debut at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 285,298 copies in first week.

Love & Life received mixed reviews from music critics. Allmusic gave it 4 stars and said the album "beamed with joy" and Rolling Stone gave it three stars, saying "You may not always love Blige's music, but you will feel her".

The album was eventually certified Platinum by the RIAA. To date the album has sold over 1,000,000 copies in the U.S. and over 2,000,000 copies worldwide. The album was nominated for the Best Contemporary R&B Album at the 46th Grammy Awards.

 The Breakthrough and Reflections – A Retrospective (2005–2006)

Geffen Records released Blige's seventh studio album, The Breakthrough on December 20, 2005. For the album, Blige collaborated with J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Rodney Jerkins, will.i.am, Bryan Michael Cox, 9th Wonder, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Raphael Saadiq, Cool and Dre, and Dre & Vidal. The cover art was photographed by Markus Klinko & Indrani. It debuted at number one on both the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. Selling 727,000 copies in its first week, it became the biggest first-week sales for an R&B solo female artist in SoundScan history, the fifth largest first-week sales for a female artist, and the fourth largest debut of 2005. Since its release, The Breakthrough has sold over three million copies in the U.S and over seven million copies worldwide, becoming one of the five best-selling albums of 2006.

The lead-off single, "Be Without You", peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100, while peaking at number one on the R&B chart for a record-setting fifteen consecutive weeks; it remained on the chart for over sixteen months. "Be Without You" found success in the UK it became Blige's longest charting single on the UK Singles Chart. It is her second longest charting single to date. The album produced three more singles including two more top five R&B hits—"Enough Cryin'", which features Blige's alter ego Brook-Lynn (as whom she appeared on the remix to Busta Rhymes's "Touch It" in 2006); and "Take Me as I Am" (which samples Lonnie Liston Smith's "A Garden of Peace"). Blige's duet with U2 on the cover of their 1992 hit, "One" gave Blige her biggest hit to date in the UK, peaking at number two on the UK Singles Chart eventually being certified one of the forty highest-selling singles of 2006; it was her longest charting UK single.
The success of The Breakthrough won Blige nine Billboard Music Awards, two American Music Awards, two BET Awards, two NAACP Image Awards, and a Soul Train Award. She received eight Grammy Award nominations at the 2007 Grammy Awards, the most of any artist that year. "Be Without You" was nominated for both "Record of the Year" and "Song of the Year". Blige won three: "Best Female R&B Vocal Performance", "Best R&B Song" (both for "Be Without You"), and "Best R&B Album" for The Breakthrough. Blige completed a season sweep of the "big three" major music awards, having won the American Music Awards in November 2006, the Billboard Music Awards in December 2006, and the Grammy Awards in February 2007.

In December 2006, a compilation called Reflections - A Retrospective was released. It contained many of Blige's greatest hits and four new songs, including the worldwide lead single "We Ride ". In the UK, however, "MJB da MVP" was released as the lead single from the collection. The album peaked at number nine in the U.S, selling over 170,000 copies in its first week, while reaching number forty in the UK. It has sold more than 1.6 million copies. In 2006, Blige recorded a duet with rapper Ludacris, "Runaway Love", which is the third single on his fifth album, Release Therapy. It reached the top five on the Billboard Hot 100 and the R&B chart. Blige was featured with Aretha Franklin and The Harlem Boys Choir on the soundtrack to the 2006 motion picture Bobby, on the lead track "Never Gonna Break My Faith". The song was nominated for a Golden Globe and won the Grammy Award for Best Gospel Performance at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards.

 Growing Pains (2007–2008)

Blige's eighth studio album, Growing Pains, was released on December 18, 2007, debuting at number two on the Billboard 200 and at number one on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. It sold 629,000 copies in its first week, marking the third time since Nielsen SoundScan began collecting data in 1991 that two albums sold more than 600,000 copies in a week in the United States. In its second week, the album climbed to number one, making it Blige's fourth number-one album. The lead single, "Just Fine", peaked at number twenty-two on the Billboard Hot 100 and at number three on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. "Just Fine" was nominated for the Grammy Award for "Best Female R&B Vocal Performance", and Blige won "Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals" for the Chaka Khan duet "Disrespectful" (featured on Khan's album Funk This) which Blige wrote.

Growing Pains was not released in the UK until February 2008, where it became Blige's fifth top ten and third-highest charting album.The Breakthrough and Reflections were released in the Christmas rush and therefore settled for lower peaks, although both selling more than her top five album Mary. "Just Fine" returned Blige to the UK singles chart top 20 after her previous two singles failed to chart highly. Subsequent singles from Growing Pains include "Work That", which accompanied Blige in an iTunes commercial, and "Stay Down".

Blige was featured on 50 Cent's 2007 album, Curtis, in the song "All of Me". In March 2008, she toured with Jay-Z in the Heart of the City Tour. They released a song called "You're Welcome". In the same period, cable network BET aired a special on Blige entitled The Evolution of Mary J. Blige, which showcased her career. Celebrities such as Method Man and Ashanti gave their opinions about Blige and her music. Blige is featured on singles by Big Boi, and Musiq Soulchild.

Growing Pains was nominated for and won the Grammy Award for "Best Contemporary R&B Album", at the 51st Grammy Awards held on February 8, 2009, earning Blige her 27th Grammy nomination, in a mere decade.

Blige went on the Growing Pains European Tour, her first tour there in two years. A tour of Australia and New Zealand was scheduled for June but was postponed due to "weariness from an overwhelming tour schedule" and then eventually canceled entirely.

On August 7, 2008, it was revealed Blige faced a US$2 million federal suit claiming Neff-U wrote the music for the song "Work That", but was owned by Dream Family Entertainment. The filing claimed that Dream Family never gave rights to use the song to Blige, Feemster or Geffen Records. Rights to the lyrics of the song used in an iPod commercial are not in question.

 Stronger with Each Tear (2009–2010)

Blige returned to performing in January 2009 by performing the song "Lean on Me" at the Presidential Inauguration Committee's, "We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial". Blige also performed her hit 2007 single, "Just Fine", with a new intro at the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball after Barack Obama was sworn in on January 20, 2009. Blige appeared as a marquee performer on the annual Christmas in Washington television special.

Blige's ninth studio album, Stronger with Each Tear, was released on December 21, 2009, debuting at number two on the Billboard 200 and at number one on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, selling 332,000 units in its first week of release. It became her fifth album not to take the top spot in the United States.

The lead single, "The One", which features Canadian rapper Drake, was released for airplay in June 2009, and was officially and digitally released in July 2009, peaking at number sixty-three on the Hot 100. Blige recorded "Stronger", as the lead single from the soundtrack to the basketball documentary "More Than a Game" in August 2009. The second single from Stronger with Each Tear, "I Am", was released in December 2009 and reached number fifty-five on the Hot 100. The third international single from the album, "Each Tear", was remixed with different featured artists from different countries, then being released in February 2010. The single failed to chart anywhere except in the UK where it reached number one-hundred-eighty-three and in Italy where it reached number one. The album's third U.S. single, "We Got Hood Love" featuring Trey Songz, was released in March 2010 and reached number twenty-five on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart though it failed to reach the Hot 100. One of Blige's representatives reported to US Weekly magazine that a tour in support of Stronger with Each Tear will begin in the fall of 2010. On March 2010, Blige released Stronger with Each Tear in the United Kingdom, as well as in the European markets. The album performed modestly in the United Kingdom, debuting at number thirty-three on the UK Albums Chart and at number four on the UK R&B Chart. It reached the top 100 in other countries.

Blige was honored at the 2009 BET Honors Ceremony and was paid tribute by Anita Baker and Monica. On November 4, 2009, Blige sang The Star-Spangled Banner at Yankee Stadium before the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies played the last game of the World Series. Blige performed two songs from her ninth album as well as her previous hits, "No More Drama" and "Be Without You" along with the song "Color", which was featured on the Precious soundtrack. Blige appeared as a guest judge on the ninth season of American Idol on January 13, 2010.

On January 23, 2010, Blige released a track "Hard Times Come Again No More" with The Roots as well as performing it at the Hope for Haiti Now telethon. At the 2010 Grammy Awards, Blige and Andrea Bocelli performed Bridge Over Troubled Water. Blige also performed on BET's SOS Help For Haiti, singing "Gonna Make It" with Jazmine Sullivan and "One." Blige also took part in February 2010's We Are the World 25 for Haiti, singing the solo originally sung by Tina Turner in the original 1985 We Are The World version. At the 41st NAACP Image Awards Blige won Outstanding Female Artist and Outstanding Album for Stronger with Each Tear. On November 18, 2010, Billboard revealed Mary J. Blige as the most successful female R&B/Hip Hop Artist on the Top 50 R&B/Hip Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years list. Mary came in at number 2 overall.
Blige named her fans " Mary Janes ".

 My Life II... The Journey Continues (2011–present)

On January 4, 2011 on Hot 97, Angie Martinez premiered a new version of Diddy-Dirty Money's "Someone to Love Me". The remix, titled "Someone to Love Me ", features new vocals from Blige and Lil Wayne. The song was released as an iTunes digital download single on March 29, 2011 and serves as a teaser until the official first single from the album. The video for the song was directed by Colin Tilley. The video premiered online via Vevo on April 4, 2011 and made their television debut on April 5, 2011 following BET’s “The Game.”

Rolling Stone revealed the tracks likely to make the final cut of Mary's tenth studio album are the Jerry “Wonda” Duplessis-produced "Feel Inside" and "Beautiful Scars," a ballad by Diane Warren. Also describing the album as retro with lots of live instrumentation and soul samples. Mary has also teamed back up for production from long time collaboraters Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and Babyface. The album's guests include R&B/pop songstress Beyonce, in addition to male rappers Busta Rhymes, Nas, Drake and Rick Ross.
MTV.com revealed that the album titled My Life II... The Journey Continues , was released November 21, 2011. The LP, recorded in Los Angeles and New York City, sees Mary looking toward the future while acknowledging the past. “From me to you, My Life II… Our journey together continues in this life,” explained Mary. “It’s a gift to be able to relate and identify with my fans at all times. This album is a reflection of the times and lives of people all around me.” The album will aso feature production from Kanye West and The Underdogs.

Mary was awarded Outstanding Female Artist at the 42nd NAACP Image Awards.

On July 5, 2011, Mary released the song The Living Proof as the lead single to the soundtrack of the film The Help. On July 24, VH1 premiered their third Behind the Music on Mary that profiled Mary's personal and career life.
August 25, 2011 Mary released her first single off the album simply titled "25/8", which later reached number ten on iTunes for Top R&B/Soul song. My Life II... The Journey Continues will be released November 21

In November 2011, Mary confirmed in an interview that there will be a sequel to the album which will be titled My Life: Act 2 in May 2012.

 acting career
In 1998, Blige made her acting debut on the sitcom The Jamie Foxx Show playing a character, the apparently southern Ola Mae; a preacher's daughter who wanted to sing more than gospel music. Her father was portrayed by Ronald Isley of The Isley Brothers. In 2001, Blige starred opposite rapper Q-Tip in the independent film Prison Song. That same year, Blige made a cameo on the Lifetime network series, Strong Medicine; playing the role of Simone Fellows. Blige's character was the lead singer of a band who was sick, but would not seek treatment. In 2000, Blige was featured in a superhero web cartoon in junction with Stan Lee. Blige used the cartoon as part of her performance while on her 2000 Mary Show Tour. In 2004, Blige starred in an Off-Broadway play, The Exonerated. The play chronicled the experiences of death row inmates. Blige portrayed Sunny Jacobs, a woman who spent 20 years in prison for a crime she did not commit. In late 2005, it was reported that Blige landed the starring role in the upcoming MTV Films biopic on American singer/pianist Nina Simone. According to IMDB.com the film will be released in 2012.

In February 2007, Blige guest-starred on Ghost Whisperer, in an episode called "Mean Ghost", as the character Jackie Boyd, the school's cheer leader coach grieving for the death of her brother and affected by the ghost of a dead cheerleader. The episode features many of Blige's songs. In August 2007, Blige was a guest star on Entourage, in the role of herself, as a client of Ari Gold's agency. In October 2007, Blige was also a guest star on America's Next Top Model, as a creative director for a photo shoot by Matthew Rolston. In May 2009, Mary made a guest appearance on 30 Rock, as an artist recording a benefit song for a kidney. Blige also had a supporting role in Tyler Perry's Movie I Can Do Bad All By Myself, which was released in September 2009.

As of March 2011, Blige has signed on to star alongside Tom Cruise, Julianne Hough, and Alec Baldwin in the film adaptation of the 80s jukebox hit musical Rock of Ages. Blige will play Justice Charlier, the owner of a Sunset Strip gentlemen's club, when production begins in May 2011.

 personal life
During the early 1990s, Blige dated singer K-Ci from Jodeci. The relationship ended in 1997. Blige also briefly dated rapper Nas. In 2000, Blige met record industry executive Martin Kendu Isaacs (known as "Kendu") who became her manager. The two were married on December 7, 2003, in a small private ceremony at Blige's home attended by 50 guests.


Blige earned her GED in 2010.

Blige has been a resident of Cresskill, New Jersey.

 legacy
Known to the music world as the reigning "Queen of Hip-Hop Soul", Mary would go on to be responsible for changing the construct of R&B music. Credited for the musical marriage of Hip-Hop and R&B, she introduced elements of hip-hop/rap into modern, contemporary r&b/pop music. Using old school hip-hop samples and loops, Mary would bridge "the gap between R&B and rap in a way that no female singer had before.". Ethan Brown of The New Yorker says that albums "What's the 411?" and "My Life", in hindsight, invented "the sample-heavy sound that reinvigorated urban radio and became a blueprint for nineties hip-hop and R&B.". Brown further concludes that Mary's "duets with the Wu-Tang Clan's Method Man and Ghostface Killah set the trend for collaborations between rappers and R&B songbirds like Mariah Carey.". Tom Horan of comments that Blige, being a hugely influential figure in popular music, "invented what is now called R&B by successfully combining female vocals with muscular hip hop rhythm tracks. All over the world, that recipe dominates today's charts.". Called one of the "most explosive, coming-out displays of pure singing prowess" and "one of the most important albums of the nineties", What's the 411? saw Blige pioneer "the movement that would later become Neo soul, generating gripping songs that were also massive radio hits.".

Blige has received notable awards and achievements. In 2010, she was ranked 80th on VH1's list of the 100 Greatest Artist of All Time. Blige was listed as one of the 50 most influential R&B singers by Essence. magazine ranked My Life at number 279 on its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The album was also included on Time's list of the 100 Greatest albums of All Time. Alternately called the "Queen of R&B" for her unprecedented success in the realm of R&B, Blige has amassed eight number one albums on the R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart - a record for a female artist. Blige is also the only artist to have won Grammy's in the R&B, Rap, Pop, and Gospel fields.

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  Albums 

  Tracks  

Name Duration Released
No Condition 04:27 21/11/2011
Don't Mind 03:57 21/11/2011
25/8 03:55 21/11/2011
The Living Proof 05:55 21/11/2011
Ain't Nobody 04:03 21/11/2011
Need Someone 03:55 21/11/2011
Next Level 04:13 21/11/2011
Empty Prayers 03:15 21/11/2011
Midnight Drive 04:12 21/11/2011
Love a Woman 04:31 21/11/2011
Why 04:21 21/11/2011
Mr. Wrong 04:01 21/11/2011
I Am 03:23 21/12/2009
I Feel Good 03:47 21/12/2009
Good Love 04:01 21/12/2009
Said and Done 03:23 21/12/2009
Color 05:31 21/12/2009
The One 03:14 21/12/2009
In the Morning 04:36 21/12/2009
Tonight 04:00 21/12/2009
Kitchen 04:31 21/12/2009
We Got Hood Love 04:15 21/12/2009
Each Tear 04:15 21/12/2009
If You Don't Care 04:16 03/2008
Maybe I'll Stay 03:28 03/2008
Welcome to Janesville 03:15 03/2008
It's Never Too Late 04:13 03/2008
Grab Your Heart and Run 02:54 03/2008
Stay Down 04:27 03/2008
The Corner 05:02 03/2008
Little Jane-Marie 04:50 03/2008
Sweet Pea 03:09 03/2008
First Time 03:54 03/2008
Stefanie 04:35 03/2008
Into the Summer Sky 04:41 03/2008
We Ride 03:57 01/12/2006
Reflections 04:06 01/12/2006
I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need to Get By 03:41 01/12/2006
My Life '06 05:07 01/12/2006
Not Gon' Cry 04:50 01/12/2006
911 04:19 01/12/2006
King & Queen 03:46 01/12/2006
You Know 03:37 01/12/2006
About You 04:04 20/12/2005
Ain't Really Love 04:40 20/12/2005
Enough Cryin 04:20 20/12/2005
Can't Get Enough 03:40 20/12/2005
Show Love 03:40 20/12/2005
No One Will Do 04:46 20/12/2005
MJB da MVP 03:21 20/12/2005
So Lady 04:16 20/12/2005
Can't Hide from Luv 03:52 20/12/2005
Baggage 03:35 20/12/2005
One 04:20 20/12/2005
Take Me as I Am 03:57 20/12/2005
Alone 04:29 20/12/2005
Good Woman Down 04:07 20/12/2005
Father in You 05:23 20/12/2005
Gonna Breakthrough 04:00 20/12/2005
I Found My Everything 05:23 20/12/2005
Finally Made It 01:39 26/08/2003
Feel Like Makin' Love 04:42 26/08/2003
Not Today 04:13 26/08/2003
Press On 04:17 26/08/2003
When We 03:36 26/08/2003
Friends 04:02 26/08/2003
Love & Life Intro 02:48 26/08/2003
Free 02:04 26/08/2003
Ultimate Relationship 05:05 26/08/2003
Willing & Waiting 04:19 26/08/2003
Special Part Of Me 04:33 26/08/2003
Love @ 1st Sight 05:18 26/08/2003
All My Love 04:16 26/08/2003
Let Me Be The 1 04:40 26/08/2003
Message In Our Music 02:14 26/08/2003
Ooh! 04:07 26/08/2003
It's A Wrap 04:20 26/08/2003
PMS 05:33 28/08/2001
Never Been 04:03 28/08/2001
Crazy Games 03:23 28/08/2001
Flying Away 05:00 28/08/2001
Steal Away 04:27 28/08/2001
Dance For Me 04:47 28/08/2001
Family Affair 04:25 28/08/2001
Beautiful Day 03:33 28/08/2001
Love 02:46 28/08/2001
Where I've Been 05:11 28/08/2001
Testimony 05:00 28/08/2001
Destiny 04:14 28/08/2001
Forever No More 01:41 28/08/2001
Keep It Moving 04:15 28/08/2001
In The Meantime 04:14 28/08/2001
No More Drama 05:26 28/08/2001
2U 04:45 28/08/2001
Deep Inside 04:20 29/05/1999
No Happy Holidays 04:45 29/05/1999
Sexy 04:47 29/05/1999
Your Child 04:40 29/05/1999
All That I Can Say 03:57 29/05/1999
Not Lookin' 04:49 29/05/1999
Don't Waste Your Time 04:10 29/05/1999
Memories 04:38 29/05/1999
Time 05:07 29/05/1999
Let No Man Put Asunder 04:28 29/05/1999
I'm In Love 04:50 29/05/1999
Give Me You 05:03 29/05/1999
Beautiful Ones 04:44 29/05/1999
The Love I Never Had 05:45 29/05/1999
Thank You Lord 00:00 1998
Round & Round 05:28 1998
Share My World 00:00 1998
Misty Blue 00:00 1998
Summer Madness 00:00 1998
Day Dreaming 00:00 1998
Missing You 00:00 1998
Seven Days 00:00 1998
Everything 00:00 1998
Keep Your Head 00:00 1998
I Can Love You 00:00 1998
width:400px; 00:00 22/01/1997
Mary & Andre 00:27 1993
You Don't Have to Worry 04:38 1993
Changes I've Been Going Through 05:15 28/07/1992
Real Love 04:32 28/07/1992
My Love 04:14 28/07/1992
Reminisce 05:24 28/07/1992
Slow Down 04:33 28/07/1992
Leave a Message 03:38 28/07/1992
I Don't Want to Do Anything 05:52 28/07/1992
Love No Limit 05:01 28/07/1992
Sweet Thing 03:46 28/07/1992
Intro Talk 02:17 28/07/1992
What's the 411? 04:13 28/07/1992
You Remind Me 04:19 28/07/1992
Overjoyed 00:00
Natural Woman 00:00
Beautiful 00:00
I'm The Only Woman 04:30
Mary's Joint 05:02
Marvin Interlude 00:36
Be With You 04:26
You Bring Me Joy 04:13
My Life Interlude 01:15
Mary Jane 04:39
I'm Going Down 03:42
Intro 01:04
I Never Wanna Live Without You 06:17
Be Happy 05:49
You Gotta Believe 05:02
No One Else 04:14
My Life 04:17
I Love You 04:31
K. Murray Interlude 00:22
Don't Go 04:59
Just Fine 00:00
I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues 00:00
My Man 00:00
Love Is All We Need 00:00
Favorite Flavor 00:00
Love Changes 00:00
Ask Myself 00:00
Whenever I Say Your Name 00:00

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Mary Jane Blige", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.