Over the last twenty-five years, or as far as I can remember you could not say the words Queen, Hip-Hop or Soul without the mentioning of one Mary J. Blige. With Over 75 million albums sold world-wide, 9 Grammy Awards, 10 Billboard awards, movies, commercial campaigns, world-wide tours it’s safe to say you know who she is. I personally fell in love with her in 1995 when I was a small kid having to listen to music based on what was played around me and at the time Mary J Blige was ‘IT.’ My Life album had just come out and she was taking the world by storm once again, with her heart wrenching lyrics fused with Blige’s raw yet soulful sound. Blige’s predecessor What’s the 411? Solidified her as more than a one-hit wonder but this album was her solidifying her connection to her fans. Amongst the whole world listening, Blige’s pinned pointed audience consisted of young to old Black women whom connected personally with her not only with the sound but the look. MJB she’s called was a young ghetto girl from the Yonkers New York who looked like every other girl from the projects of New York.
Several million records later, sold out tours, movie credits and fans across the world Mary J. Blige has become the aunt in most of our heads who makes us feel closer to r&b music than any other female of our generation. From her affiliation to Puff Daddy and the hit making Bad Boy era to her singing collaborations with the late George Michael or Elton John Blige has remained at legend status. Within recent years Mary gained heavy media attention to an in-progress divorce she’s battling with her blood sucking soon to be ex-husband Kendu Isaacs. We’ve all read the headlines and as the typical MJB fans most of us are we’ve developed a strong dislike for Blige’s ex manager looming headlines of him trying to take her for every dime she has is partly the reason why. She hasn’t let that talk through her off balance though, staring in the NetFlix hosted hit Mudbound. Mary has received raves reviews regarding her performance in the film. From Golden Globes nominations to Academy Awards talks Blige is finally being taken serious as an Actress adding yet another dominated talent to her list of accomplishments.
Today I decided to take some time and celebrate one of my biggest musical inspirations and a person who I can say feels like family to me. Not just her music but her publicized journey has pushed me in ways that she’ll never know. African American music and culture can honestly say that having someone like her amongst the list of entertainers is an honor and privilege. January 11, 2018 is also special seeing as though its Mary’s birthday and she’ll also received a long overdue star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles later today. So having said that let’s make today an extra special day by pumping some Share My World or No More Drama don’t forget your boots and shades!
Vashon Wade 2018