Mary J Blige, an American singer, songwriter, rapper, and actor, was born on January 11, 1971. She is 51 years as of 2022. Mary J. Blige, who is frequently described as the “Queen of Hip-Hop Soul,” has won 10 Billboard Music Awards, four American Music Awards, and nine Grammy Awards. She was the first person to be nominated for both acting and songwriting in the same year when she received nominations for both her supporting role in the 2017 film Mudbound and for its original song “Mighty River.” She has also received nominations for three Golden Globe Awards and two Academy Awards.
Table of Contents
Mary Jane Blige was born in New York City’s Fordham Hospital in the Bronx area. She was conceived by jazz musician Thomas Blige and nurse Cora Blige. She is the middle kid of four. She has an older sister named LaTonya Blige-DaCosta, a younger half-brother named Bruce Miller, and a younger half-sister named Jonquell, who are all the offspring of Blige’s mother’s second marriage.
In Atlanta, Georgia, where she was raised, she sang in a Pentecostal church. Later, she and her family returned to New York and lived in the Yonkers neighborhood’s Schlobohm Housing Projects. After her father abandoned the family in the middle of the 1970s, the family made do with the money her mother earned as a nurse. Her father was an alcoholic Vietnam War veteran who was also from post-traumatic stress disorder.
She was abused by a family acquaintance when she was five years old, and she dealt with years of sexual harassment from her peers as a teenager. Eventually, she would seek solace in drugs, drink, and promiscuous sex. In her junior year of high school, Blige quit.
Blige briefly played with drummer Eddie D’Aprile in the Yonkers band Pride while pursuing a musical career. She spontaneously covered Anita Baker’s “Caught Up in the Rapture” at a recording studio in the Galleria Mall in White Plains, New York, in the early months of 1988.
Later, the cassette was played for Jeff Redd, a musician and Uptown Records A&R runner, by her mother’s then-boyfriend. Andre Harrell, the label’s president, and CEO received it from Redd. After meeting Blige, Harrell was hired by the label as a backup singer for musicians like Father MC in 1989, making her the label’s youngest and first female performer.
Read More: Da Brat: Amazing Facts About This Rapper
When Blige was a student at Uptown, Sean Combs (also known as P Diddy or Puff Daddy) began collaborating with her on her debut album, “What’s the 411?” (July 1992). The album, which blended classic R&B sounds with the gospel and blues-inspired vocals, got favorable reviews and peaked at number six on the Billboard 200 chart. The RIAA also awarded it three Platinum certifications. She went on to win two Soul Train Music Awards in 1993 for “What’s the 411” (Best New R&B Artist and Best R&B Album, Female) and was named the “Queen of Hip Hop Soul” as a result.
With the release of her second album, “My Life,” which debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 and number one on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, she became a true superstar. It is frequently regarded as Blige’s finest work and was included in Time magazine’s 2006 list of the “100 Greatest Albums of All-Time.”
In addition, to “Share My World” (1997), which features collaborations with musicians like Nas, Lil’ Kim, and George Benson, “Mary” (1999) featured a more earthy and adult contemporary sound as opposed to her signature hip-hop style, “Ballads” (2000), a compilation album with covers of musicians like Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin that was only released in Japan, “No More Drama” (2001) and its re-release, which won Blige her second Her other albums include “Love & Life,” “The Breakthrough,” “Growing Pains,” “Stronger with Each Tear,” “My Life II… The Journey Continues (Act 1),” “A Mary Christmas,” “The London Sessions,” and “Strength of a woman“.
Blige has had a strong acting career in addition to her tremendously successful music career. She made her acting debut in 1998 on the sitcom “The Jamie Foxx Show” as a preacher’s daughter. In 2001, she starred in the independent film “Prison Song.” She portrayed a death row convict in the 2004 Off-Broadway drama “The Exonerated,” which detailed their experiences.
Other roles she has played include a supporting role in the Tyler Perry film “I Can Do Bad All by Myself” (September 2009), a guest spot on the ABC drama “How to Get Away with Murder” in October 2016, a guest appearance on the show “Ghost Whisperer” in the February 2007 episode “Mean Ghost,” and a guest appearance as herself on an episode of “Entourage” in August 2007.
She played a leading role in the Lifetime film “Betty and Coretta” as well as the 2012 movie “Rock of Ages,” which also starred Tom Cruise, Julianne Hough, and Alex Baldwin (2013). Mary J. Blige received nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress, the Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Supporting Actress, and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her leading role in the 2017 historical drama movie “Mudbound.”
Blige had a major part in the slasher movie Body Cam in 2020. Additionally, she appeared in the drama independent film Pink Skies Ahead. In Power Book II: Ghost, the first spin-off of the acclaimed Starz TV show Power, which debuted in September 2020, Blige plays Monet Stewart Tejada. In the biographical drama film Respect about the life and career of Aretha Franklin, Blige portrayed singer Dinah Washington. The movie opened in theaters on August 13, 2021.
In 2004, Blige established her own record company, Matriarch Records, which is distributed by Interscope. In the middle of 2012, Blige discovered the girl group Just’Us, making them the label’s first female act. “These are my little Mary’s; they each remind me of myself at different points in my life”, Mary J. Blige said. According to rumors, Blige is collaborating with Just’Us on their self-titled album.
Mary J. Blige exclusively sold My Life (via Carol’s Daughter), her debut fragrance, on HSN in July 2010. The success of the scent smashed sales records in a matter of hours and earned it two esteemed FIFI awards from the Fragrance Foundation. My Life Blossom, the newest fragrance, debuted exclusively on HSN in August 2011.
Mary J. Blige unveiled her “Melodies by MJB” range of sunglasses in October 2010. There were four styles and a total of 20 color options in the original Melodies collection. Each look reflected a different aspect of Blige’s life. According to Essence magazine, “Melodies by MJB” expanded its range to provide new styles in the spring of 2011. Along with William Morris Endeavor, Blige’s production firm is collaborating on a number of TV and movie projects.
Blige debuted her “My Life” perfume in collaboration with Carol’s Daughter and the Home Shopping Network (HSN). During its debut, the perfume sold 65,000 bottles, breaking all previous HSN records. Two FiFi Awards, including the one for “Fragrance Sales Breakthrough,” were later given to the fragrance.
Reebok, Air Jordan, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Gap, Target, American Express, AT&T Inc., MAC, Apple Inc., Burger King, and Chevrolet have all signed endorsement deals with Blige. She has also served as a spokesperson for Citibank’s Nickelback program and Carol’s Daughter cosmetics.
Blige dated R&B singer Cedric “K-Ci” Hailey of the Jodeci group for six years in the 1990s. In a 1995 interview with Blige for the UK television program The Word, Hailey refuted rumors that the two were planning a wedding. Blige’s album My Life was inspired by their tumultuous relationship.
On December 7, 2003, Blige wed Martin “Kendu” Isaacs, her manager. At the time, Isaacs had a younger daughter, Briana, from a teenage romance in addition to two children, Nas and Jordan, with his previous wife. Blige filed for divorce in July 2016 citing “irreconcilable issues.” On June 21, 2018, Blige and Isaacs’ divorce became official.
Performing for Barack Obama at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Mary J. Blige is a Democrat. Mary J. Blige battled drug and alcohol addiction, but she’s been clean for a while now.
Mary J. Blige’s Net Worth
Having a net worth of $20 million, Mary J. Blige is an American singer, songwriter, and producer.
Sadly, Mary J. Blige has struggled with money over the years in a number of ways. She still had $3.4 million in unpaid taxes as of May 2013. She was the subject of a lawsuit that claimed she owed $2.2 million for an unpaid bank loan and owed $900,000 to the state of New Jersey. Blige paid down her $900,000 debt to New Jersey on May 25, 2014, however, it was discovered that she still owes the IRS at least $3.4 million.
Blige invested $12.3 million in a lavish property in Saddle River, New Jersey, in 2008. It is said that she paid cash in full for the 20,000-square-foot mansion. She put the mansion up for sale in 2015 for $13.9 million, but no one bought it. She eventually reduced the price to $8.9 million before dropping it to $6.8 million in August 2019. She paid $2.1 million for a significantly smaller estate in Cresskill, New Jersey, in 2001.