Photo credit – TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images
For Black Music Month, we’re celebrating the living legend, Mary J. Blige.
Born in the Bronx, NY on January 11, 1971, a career in music would be her destiny. At 17, she got discovered after music executives heard her sing karaoke. Uptown Records immediately signed her.
Music and church would be her escape since life at home wasn’t easy. Her father was abusive toward her mother and he was in and out of their lives.
In 1992 she released her first solo album, What’s the 411?, which is still a classic today. It sold more than 3 million copies, with timeless love tunes like, “You Remind Me” and “Real Love.”
In the early stages of Mary’s career, she began to redefine the sound of R&B, making it modern day soul.
Her second album My Life earned the singer her first Grammy award. Throughout her career, she won nine. In 1997 she released Her third project, Share My World. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart, with hits like “Love Is All We Need” and “Everything.”
Mary was able to transition to the sounds of the 90’s/Golden Era of hip hop and R&B into the early 2000s. In 2001, No More Drama came out with her one of her most popular songs, “Family Affair.” Her 2005 album The Breakthrough sold more than 7 million copies. She came out with several albums after that, with her latest one, 2017’s Strength Of A Woman.
Mary’s love life was a roller coaster of up and downs. She had relationships with Case Woodward, Treach of Naughty By Nature, K-Ci, Nas, and Kendu. Although most of the men from her past caused her a lot of pain, physical and emotional, she would soon find a “Real Love” again with an African Prince.
Mary also stepped into the film world and is making noise. She received positive reviews for her roles in the 2013 TV movie Betty & Coretta and the 2017 World War II-era drama Mudbound.
The “Take Me As I Am” singer is currently celebrating 25 years of the classic My Life with her own Mac lipstick. For a limited time only, she’s coming out with a Love Me lipstick edition. It’s packaged in a nude and black gradient bullet—a nod to Blige’s 1994 My Life album cover.
Take a listen to all of her hits: