MJB is back to say she never left

October 13, 2011
Blige alert; on the cover of Paper Magazine!

R&B crooner Mary J. Blige has come a long way from the rough streets of Yonkers, New York. Rumors about MJB being a bad girl were legendary back in the day. Someone's aunt's cousin was certain that they overheard her cuss someone out. Then another person's manicurist's hairdresser was convinced that her half sister had a fight with her. The story was that Angelo Ellerbee of the firm Double XXposure, etiquette coach to the stars, svengalied Mary J. through his own finishing school. At any rate, Ms. Blige has paid her dues and then some.

A couple of weeks ago the lady herself shut social media down when she appeared on ABC's "Dancing With The Stars" to sing her classic anthem "Real Love." She sang from the soul as usual and fans were right there with her, voicing their appreciation and making her a trending topic from twitter to facebook.

Mary has been in the business for over twenty years. We have seen her cry on Oprah and heard her pour her heart out in her music. Recently, she sat down with Emil Wilbekin for Paper Magazine to update her fans on her epic life.

Mary J. Blige: "My Life" Now

The Look

Mary made being a black blonde fab. Whether close cropped, curly or bone straight, the star always keeps her blonde tresses fresh. Back in the days Mary was all leather and boots. These days she is as couture chic as the next diva while still "keeping it real." Her cover look for Paper is on trend with a fierce animal print but then she freaks it with elegance. Photographed by Lauren Dukoff and styled by Marni Senofonte, her skin tight dress is unexpectedly Emilio Pucci.

Mary grounds the look with updated gold hoops by Aisha Williams Style. We are still lusting over the earrings. Dante Blandshaw finishes the glam goddess with a long banged bob. Inside the pop art magazine however Mary wears Herve Leger. But of course.

The Music

Mary's 1994 "My Life" album wore a groove in our CD player way back when. Her new album is entitled, "My Life II... The Journey Continues (Act I)." She tells the mag, "I wanted to make sure everyone understands that this is me taking things to the next level. It's about learning to live after the drama."

At 40 the queen of hip hop and R&B is reinventing herself again. One thing that this new MJB and the old MJB have in common though is a sense of realness that pre-packaged pop stars can only dream of. Mary's new album drops in November and we will be listening.

The Power

Mary J. confesses that she has been through the ringer personally. Now the singer is taking that power to the big screen with acting roles. She has been slowly and quietly building up an acting resume that includes film, theater and television. The diva tells Wilbekin that she will have the role of a lifetime when she plays Nina Simone in an upcoming biopic.

Mary as Nina? This sounds like a match made in musical heaven. We can't imagine who else would have the power and soul to play Madame Simone.

Mary is not only still ticking but she is just getting started. The October issue of Paper is on newsstands now. Find Ms. Blige's latest album "My Life II" wherever you buy music and you won't be disappointed. We can't wait.

Hail Mary!

Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor.


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