|Name:||Mary J. Blige|
|Height:||175 cm (5' 9'')|
|Birth Day:||January 11, 1971|
|Birth Place:||New York City, United States|
|#1||Martin Isaacs||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||52||Celebrity Family Member|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
|175 cm (5' 9'')||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
She sang at church and became Uptown Records' first female artist as a background singer in 1989.
Pursuing a musical career, Blige spent a short time in a Yonkers band named Pride with band drummer Eddie D'Aprile. In early 1988, she 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 as a backup vocalist for artists such as Father MC, becoming the company's youngest and first female artist.
After being signed to Uptown, Blige began working with record producer Sean Combs, also known as Puff Daddy. He became the executive producer and produced a majority of the album. The title, What's the 411?, derived from Blige's past occupation as a 4-1-1 operator; was also an indication by Blige of being the "real deal". What's the 411? nevertheless established Blige as a dynamic storyteller whose performances of love narrative drew upon both her musical influences and her lived experiences as a hip-hop-generation woman. The music was described as "revelatory on a frequent basis". Blige was noted for having a "tough girl persona and streetwise lyrics". On July 28, 1992, Uptown/MCA Records released What's the 411?, to positive reviews from critics. What's the 411? peaked at number six on the Billboard 200 and topped the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. It also peaked at number 53 on the UK Albums Chart. It was certified three times Platinum by the RIAA. According to Entertainment Weekly's Dave DiMartino, with the record's commercial success and Blige's "powerful, soulful voice and hip-hop attitude", she "solidly connected with an audience that has never seen a woman do new jack swing but loves it just the same". According to Dave McAleer, Blige became the most successful new female R&B artist of 1992 in the United States.
Following the success of her debut album and a remixed version in 1993, Blige went into the recording studio in the winter of 1993 to record her second album, My Life. The album was a breakthrough for Blige, who at this point was in a clinical depression, battling both drugs and alcohol – as well as being in an abusive relationship with K-Ci Hailey, which was reported in several tabloids. On November 29, 1994, Uptown/MCA released My Life to positive reviews. The album peaked at number seven on the US Billboard 200 and number one of the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart for selling 481,000 copies in its first week and remaining atop the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart for an unprecedented eight weeks. It ultimately spent 46 weeks on the Billboard 200 and 84 weeks on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. In 2002, My Life was ranked number 57 on Blender's list of the 100 greatest American albums of all time. The following year, Rolling Stone placed it at number 279 on their 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and in 2006, the record was included in Time's 100 greatest albums of all-time list.
Blige involved herself in several outside projects, recording a cover of Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) 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. 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. Blige gained her first two Grammy nominations and won the Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for her collaboration with Method Man. Shortly after, Blige was featured on Jay Z's breakthrough single, "Can't Knock the Hustle" from his debut Reasonable Doubt (1996) and with Ghostface Killah on "All That I Got Is You" from his debut, Ironman, which was also released that year. In addition, Blige co-wrote four songs, provided background vocals and was featured prominently on two singles with fellow R&B singer Case on his self-titled debut album (1996) including the US top 20 hit, "Touch Me, Tease Me", which also featured then up-and-coming rapper Foxy Brown.
On April 22, 1997, MCA Records (parent company to Uptown Records, which was in the process of being dismantled) released Blige's third album, Share My World. By then, 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 when 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 lifestyle 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" (featuring Nas), "I Can Love You" (featuring Lil' Kim), "Everything", "Missing You" (UK only) and "Seven Days" (featuring George Benson). In February 1997, Blige performed her hit at the time, "Not Gon' Cry", at the 1997 Grammy Awards, which gained her a 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".
In 1998, Blige made her acting debut on the sitcom The Jamie Foxx Show, playing 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 and civil rights activist, Nina Simone. By spring of 2010, Blige was slated to star as Simone with British actor David Oyelowo portraying her manager Clifton Henderson. Blige later dropped out of the role due to financial issues and the role was subsequently recast with Dominican American actress Zoe Saldana as Simone in Nina, released in 2016.
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 the 1970s to early 1980s soul. She also appeared on In Concert: A Benefit for the Crossroads Centre at Antigua with Eric Clapton in 1999. 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" (featuring Nas, Andy Hogan and DMX) 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 the 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 "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" and Dorothy Moore's "Misty Blue". In 1999, George Michael and Mary J. Blige covered the song 'As' written by Stevie Wonder, and worldwide outside of the United States, it was the second single from George Michael's greatest hits album Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael. It became a top ten UK pop hit, reaching number four on the chart. It was not released on the U.S. version of the greatest hits collection or as a single in the U.S. Michael cited Blige's record company president for pulling the track in America after Michael's arrest for committing a lewd act
On August 28, 2001, MCA released Blige's fifth studio album, No More Drama. The album's first single, "Family Affair" (produced by Dr. Dre) became her first and only 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 with samples from "The Bed's Too Big Without You" by The Police, and the Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis-produced title track (originally recorded for the Mary album), 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 tracklisting, while adding two brand-new songs—one of which was the fourth single and top twenty Hot 100 hit "Rainy Dayz", (featuring Ja Rule), plus two remixes; one of the title track, serviced by Sean Combs/Puff Daddy and the single version of "Dance for Me" featuring Common. 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.
On August 26, 2003, Blige's sixth album Love & Life was released on Geffen Records (which had absorbed MCA 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.
Blige married her manager, Martin "Kendu" Isaacs, on December 7, 2003. At the time, Isaacs had two children, Nas and Jordan, with his first wife, and an older daughter, Briana, from a teenage relationship. In July 2016, Blige filed for divorce, citing "irreconcilable differences". Blige and Isaacs' divorce was finalized on June 21, 2018.
In 2004, Blige launched her own record label, Matriarch Records, distributed through Interscope, and in mid-2012, discovered girl group Just'Us, making the group the first ladies of the label. Blige says "These are my little Mary's; they each remind me of myself at different points in my life." Blige has been reported to be working with Just'Us on their debut album.
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.
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 (peaking in the lower end of the top forty) 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 two American Music Awards in November 2006 and nine Billboard Music Awards in December 2006.
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 (I See the Future)". In the UK, however, "MJB da MVP" (which appeared in a different, shorter form on The Breakthrough) 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 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" written by Bryan Adams. The song was nominated for a Golden Globe and won the Grammy Award for Best Gospel Performance at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards.
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.
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.
In February 2007, Blige guest-starred on Ghost Whisperer, in an episode called "Mean Ghost", as the character Jackie Boyd, the school's cheerleader 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 photoshoot 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.
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.
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 63 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 tw25 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 would begin in the fall of 2010. In 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 33 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 (game 6) 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. She came in at number 2 overall.
In July 2010, Blige launched her first perfume, My Life (through Carol's Daughter), exclusively on HSN. The fragrance's success broke sales records in hours and has been awarded two prestigious FIFI awards from the Fragrance Foundation. The newest fragrance, My Life Blossom launched in August 2011 exclusively to HSN.
In October 2010, Blige released a line of sunglasses called "Melodies by MJB". The first Melodies collection featured four styles with a total of 20 color options. Each style represented a specific facet of Blige's life. Essence magazine reported that in the spring of 2011, "Melodies by MJB" extended their collection to offer more styles.
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. Rolling Stone 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 success in the realm of R&B, Blige has amassed ten number one albums on the R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart . Blige is also the only artist to have won Grammys in the R&B, hip hop, pop, and gospel fields.
In January 2011, Hot 97 premiered Blige's teaser track "Someone to Love Me (Naked)" featuring vocals by Lil Wayne. In July 2011, Blige 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 that profiled her personal and career life. In August 2011, Blige released her first single off the album, "25/8". Blige's tenth studio album, My Life II... The Journey Continues (Act 1), was released in November 2011. The album, primarily recorded in Los Angeles and New York City, saw Blige looking toward the future while acknowledging the past. "From me to you, My Life II... Our journey together continues in this life," the singer explained. "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 features production by Kanye West and the Underdogs. The second single "Mr. Wrong" featuring Canadian rapper Drake was the most successful single from the album, peaking at number 10 on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The rest of the songs released, including lead single "25/8" achieved only moderate success, peaking within the top 40 on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The album itself debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200, selling 156,000 copies in the first week; it was eventually certified Gold in 2012 and has sold 763,000 in the US.
Blige starred alongside Tom Cruise, Julianne Hough, and Alec Baldwin in the film adaptation of the 1980s jukebox hit musical Rock of Ages. Blige played Justice Charlier, the owner of a Sunset Strip gentlemen's club. Production began in May 2011 and the film was released in June 2012.
On February 28, 2012, Blige performed "Star Spangled Banner" at the 2012 NBA All-Star Game. Blige appeared as guest mentor on American Idol on March 7, 2012, and performed "Why" on the results show the following night. On September 23, 2012, Blige was a performer at the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Las Vegas. Blige was featured on the song "Now or Never" from Kendrick Lamar's album Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, released on October 22, 2012.
In early 2013, reports surfaced that Blige was recording a Christmas album. The album, titled, A Mary Christmas was released on October 15, 2013, through Matriarch and Verve Records, her first release with the latter. The album includes collaborations with Barbra Streisand, the Clark Sisters, Marc Anthony and Jessie J. In early December, A Mary Christmas became Blige's 12th top ten album after it rose to #10 in its eight week.
On October 23, 2013, Blige sang the national anthem before Game 1 of the 2013 World Series.
Blige starred in the Lifetime movie Betty and Coretta alongside Angela Bassett, Malik Yoba and Lindsay Owen Pierre. She played Dr. Betty Shabazz, the widow of Malcolm X. The film premiered in February 2013. In December 2015, she portrayed Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West in NBC's The Wiz Live!. In October 2016, Blige guest-starred on ABC legal drama How to Get Away with Murder as an old acquaintance of Annalise Keating played by Viola Davis.
On February 5, 2014, a remix of Disclosure's "F for You" featuring guest vocals from Mary was released.
June 2, 2014 saw Blige pairing up with another English musician with the release of a re-worked version of Sam Smith's "Stay with Me". A live visual to the song was released on the same day.
Following her concert date at the Essence Festival, on July 9, 2014, it was announced Blige would move to London to experiment with a new sound for her new album. Blige spent a month in London recording her album in RAK Studios with a host of young British acts, including Disclosure, Naughty Boy, Emeli Sandé and Sam Smith. Ten new songs, co-written and recorded by the singer, were released on November 24, 2014 on an album entitled The London Sessions. That same month, she announced that she left Geffen and Interscope and signed with Capitol Records.
In August 2016, Blige was recruited to perform the new theme song for the ABC Daytime talk show The View for its twentieth season titled "World's Gone Crazy" written by Diane Warren. A music video was also shot for the new theme song with co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Candace Cameron Bure, Raven-Symoné, Paula Faris, Sara Haines, Sunny Hostin and Jedediah Bila. Blige also appeared on The View alongside Maxwell during its premiere week on September 9, 2016 to discuss their joint tour and theme song.
On September 30, 2016, Blige premiered a new show, The 411, on Apple Music. On its debut episode, she interviewed Hillary Clinton. A trailer was released online with Blige singing a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "American Skin" to a bewildered Clinton. The exchange received mixed and negative reaction on social media. Two weeks later, a studio version, this time featuring a verse from American rapper Kendrick Lamar was released online.
Following her highly publicized divorce from Kendu Issacs, Blige released two songs within October, "Thick of It" and "U + Me (Love Lesson)". On April 28, 2017, her thirteenth studio album, Strength of a Woman, was released. It peaked at number three on the Billboard 200, number two on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and topped the R&B Albums chart.
In 2017, Blige starred in the period drama film Mudbound directed by Dee Rees. Playing Florence Jackson, the matriarch of her family, she received praise such as Variety's review: "Mary J. Blige, as the mother of the Jackson family, gives a transformative performance that will elevate the acting career of the R&B star." For her performance in Mudbound, Blige was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress, the Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Supporting Actress, the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. As she was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song (with Taura Stinson and Raphael Saadiq), she became the first person nominated for an Academy Award for acting and original song in the same year. Her nomination also made Dee Rees the first black woman to direct a film for which an actor was nominated for an Academy Award.
On July 12, 2018, Blige released the single "Only Love" on Republic Records, following her exit from Capitol Records.
Blige voiced Irene Adler in the 2018 animated film Sherlock Gnomes, and in 2020 voiced Queen Essence in the animated musical film Trolls World Tour. In 2018, it was announced that Blige was cast as Sherry Elliot in the third season of the slasher television series Scream. The season premiered on VH1 on July 8, 2019. In 2019, Blige starred in the role of Cha-Cha, a main antagonist in the Netflix superhero series The Umbrella Academy.
On April 16, 2019, Blige announced that she is co-headlining a North American summer tour with Nas titled The Royalty Tour.
On May 8, 2019, Blige released the single "Thriving" featuring Nas. During an interview with Ebro Darden on Beats 1 for the premiere of "Thriving", Blige announced that her next studio album will be released before July.
On June 23, 2019 at the BET Awards 2019, she was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her extraordinary contributions to music industry.
On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Mary J. Blige among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.
In 2020, Kamala Harris, the first Black and South Asian female Vice President-elect on a major party walked out to "Work That" at the 2020 Democratic National Convention, campaign events (including her own presidential campaign), and her victory speech.
Currently, Mary J. Blige is 51 years, 5 months and 21 days old. Mary J. Blige will celebrate 52nd birthday on a Wednesday 11th of January 2023.
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