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@MaryJBlige set for S.A. debut — again

February 1, 2012


With her popularity nearly at an all-time high thanks to a
double-platinum album “The Breakthrough” and a stirring duet with U2 on
“One” at the Grammys six months earlier, Mary J. Blige was set to make
what appeared certain to be a rousing debut in San Antonio in August
2006 at the now-defunct Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.


It didn’t happen. Two days before the show, word came from a
record-label publicist that it was being canceled because of “technical
issues.” Major disappointment, and a  bit curious. What sort of
last-minute technical issues could crop up at a music-only facility?


Anyway, fast-forward to 2012, and Blige still hasn’t played San
Antonio. With any luck, that streak should end March 16, when she’s
scheduled to be part of the eighth annual Love & Happiness Comedy
Show. Part music, part comedy, the show is set for the Alamodome’s

Illusions Theater

configuration. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster outlets.


Although the cancelled 2006 show surely left a bad taste in fans’
mouths, it’s not a knock on Blige herself. She richly deserves her
hard-won billing as “The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul.” Her mix of silk and
grit has earned her nine Grammys (and 29 nominations) and eight
multiplatinum albums.


Her latest effort, last year’s “My Life II … The Journey Continues
(Act 1),” is billed a belated sequel of sorts to her second album,
1994′s “My Life.” She described that earlier effort as a cry for help
when she was battling all sorts of personal issues, including substance
abuse and an abusive relationship.


Writing for

AllMusicGuide

,
critic Andy Kellman noted that, ” ‘Intro’ excepted, a devout fan could
listen to these 70 minutes of music … and never think of it as a sequel
to ‘My Life’ … It’s more the successor to Blige’s previous album,
‘Stronger With Each Tear.’ Blige is in a much different, presumably much
better place…”


Thank goodness for that.

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