Nigeria wishing Mary J. Blige a Happy Birthday!

January 13, 2011
Everybody seems to relate with the name Mary J Blige. Through the years, her music has found a resting place in our hearts.

At the early age of 17, Mary had been discovered by record label A&R execs and a year later, released her debut album ‘What’s The 411‘ which had singles like ‘U remind me‘ and ‘Real love‘ topping the Billboard charts for weeks. Her sophomore album ‘My Life‘ which was released the following year pretty much towed the same line of debut; a combination of Hiphop and Soul. A year after, she won herself a Grammy award – ‘Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group’ for her collaboration with Method Man

The fame does come with it’s ills and Mary was no exception to this saying. Blige later on in her career admitted that even though her music career was soaring high, her personal life was in troubled waters as she had to deal with problems of drug addiction, depression and relationship abuse.

Trying to overcome her personal issues, Mary recorded another album ‘Share My World‘ in 1997 and ‘Mary‘ in 2000, the latter seeing her leave her original sound which leaned towards the hiphop genre to a more soulful approach. Both albums did not go by unnoticeable with  Mary dominating the Billboards at a time where other female acts like TLC, Toni Braxton and Destiny’s Child were all over the music scene.

But it wasn’t until the release of her 2002 ‘No More Drama‘ that saw Mary move back to the top with the first single, ‘Family Affair‘, a bass thumping club tune which stayed at the number 1 spot on the Billboard charts for six weeks. A couple of other brilliantly composed singles followed and the theme of the album portrayed Mary throwing her past behind her and moving ahead strong. Blige finally discovered the formula for her recent success; pain to her was like 9 shots to 50 Cent. All she had to do was sing about her past ordeals and how she was overcoming them. This style made ‘No More Drama‘ sell 7 million copies worldwide. She also won a Grammy for ‘Best Female R&B Vocal Performance’.
So fast forward to the present; since 2002, Mary has released four more studio albums which have all reached the first spot on the Billboard charts, bagged multiple awards and even tied the knot with her manager Martin Isaacs. She is gearing up to release her 10th studio album tentatively titled ‘LovHer‘. 

At just 40, Blige doesn’t look like she’s going to slow down with her music. A very powerful singer and inspiration to newcomers like Jazmine Sullivan, Melanie Fiona to mention but few, the Queen of Hiphop and Soul as she is fondly called isn’t giving up her title soon. 


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