Mary J. Blige is featured on cover of October 2011 issue of Ebony Magazine

September 10, 2011
Making Happy - Mary J. Blige finds—and holds—a quiet joy
By Allison Samuels
On a decidedly hot and humid July afternoon in Miami, less than 24 hours after the suspected drug- and alcohol-related death of pop singer Amy Winehouse, R&B icon Mary J. Blige feels compelled to quietly reflect on her own battles with the very same substance abuse demons that Winehouse couldn’t conquer.

Ensconced in a secluded corner inside the uberchic Nobu restaurant, Blige’s face blanches as she recalls the flurry of fleeting, disturbing thoughts that entered her mind immediately after hearing of the London-based artist’s premature demise.

“When I got the text about Amy, I was lying down on the bed,’’ says Blige. “I got up and read the message about her death and just lay back down again. I kept getting up and laying back down for some reason. I’d always wanted to work with Amy, so I just couldn’t believe it really. And then it hit me—that could have been me. That really could have been me!”

In true ‘Mary J.’ style, Blige didn’t allow that momentary pain to hold her hostage. The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul has spent most of her adult life sharing exactly what she was feeling at exactly the moment she was feeling it, no matter how raw, vulnerable or uncomfortable it may have been. She’s offered her ‘every day, every woman’ story to the world through the lens and lyrics of her songs and then wholeheartedly welcomes her loyal fans to sing right along.

So it’s little wonder that after hitting the magical milestone age of 40, and after years of well-documented hard living, bad boys and incessant drug abuse, the Yonkers-bred diva feels obliged to share yet another nugget of hard-learned wisdom—the real joy and pleasant surprise of just being alive.

Read more in the October issue of Ebony available on newsstands now!

Mary J. Blige-Ebony Magazine photoshoot for... by Dtwmjb12


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