All Articles Tagged "mary j. blige"
Ever since starting her career in the late ’80s, Mary J. Blige has always expressed herself beautifully through song. “No More Drama.” “My Life.” “Be Happy.” Her hurt, her pain, her pursuit of happiness. She’s shared every bit of herself, and fans have connected. But when the opportunity came for Blige to help her fans in a different, possibly deeper way, she jumped at the chance. And that’s what Real Talk, her radio show on Apple’s Beats 1 Radio, is about.
“I felt it was a great idea to have this as an extension so people can know they’re not alone out there,” Blige said during our conversation over the phone. “Real Talk is about expressing yourself.”
Each episode of Real Talk is focused on a topic pulled from the title of Blige’s songs from her vast catalog. Blige and her famous guests share their experiences, as well as the music that pulled them through such trials in the hopes of connecting with fans.
Since it debuted in November, Blige has spoken with the likes of Demi Lovato, Missy Elliott, and Taraji P. Henson to name a few, about their journey. This Sunday, Blige is speaking with Jada Pinkett Smith about life before the fame, which Blige said is sure to be a “powerful” conversation.
But we wanted to have some “real talk” with Blige. So we spoke to her about the music — from others — that pushed her through her pain, what she’s learned about love and being in love, and if she could, what she would go back and tell her younger self now that she’s overcome so much and is “Just Fine.” Here are few gems dropped by MJB.
Songs That Got Her Through Difficult Times
“Angel” by Anita Baker really, really touched my heart. I remember being a kid and listening to WBLS and having to go to bed at night, but I had a clock radio. I would wait at night for the song to come on because it just touched my heart. A healing to me, the way it sounded.
There was another song by Karen Wheeler of Soul II Soul called “Keep on Movin’.” It was the song that inspired me. It made me feel like I was going to get out of the projects and life was going to be better. Every word in that song–she kept saying, “It’s our time, time today, keep on moving.” That song was very important to me.
And, of course, “Everybody Loves the Sunshine” by Roy Ayers. That song was very powerful to me. It was something in the instruments and the way they were singing that record that made me feel like everything was going to be all right. So those would be the songs that were strong in helping me to see a path out. I can even feel what they meant and did to me then as I’m speaking about them now.
Advice 45-Year-Old Mary Would Give 20-Year-Old Mary
The first thing I would say to her is don’t be afraid of what you’re about to become. She was very afraid of her own power. She was scared to death to meet this person you’re speaking to now. I would also tell her, don’t dumb yourself down to please others. Don’t push yourself down or push yourself back so people can get ahead of you because she always wanted everyone to be happy and comfortable. She would dumb herself down and push herself back. And I would tell her to believe in the God that you’re feeling. Believe in that thing that you feel and know is bigger than you, and believe that it’s real. That’s what I would tell her.
Greatest Lesson Learned About Love
It’s just love. It has no shape, color, restraints or loopholes. You either walk in love or you walk in hate. It’s a learning process but I’m learning that love is love and God is love. If God is the love that we believe He is, we have to love openly, freely and just walk in love. Love is the most powerful thing and it heals everything. It will fix everything. When you walk in hate and revenge, it’s terrible. It feels really bad. I know it. But when you walk in love, it hurts, but it heals. You might think revenge feels good and it hurts others, but it doesn’t heal. If you walk in love, you will have to forgive some people you don’t want to forgive but it will be healthy for you. But if you walk in hate and revenge, you will never be healed, and those people will just go on with their lives.
Greatest Lesson Learned About Romantic Love And Loving Yourself
The right kind of love is only going to come when you find yourself. That’s it. I know that from experience. From waiting for someone to fix me and change me. It doesn’t work that way. When you are happy with who you are, that person will be happy with you. And life will be romantic. Life will be fun. It will be everything you want it to be. But true love comes when you find true love within yourself. When you can look at yourself and really accept whatever it is that you are and accept the things you cannot change and change the things you can change, a person is going to love you for you and y’all are going to have the best time.
Real Talk airs every other Sunday on Beats 1 Radio at 11 a.m. PST/2 p.m. EST, with a new episode airing today and a show encore airing on Monday at 6 a.m. PST/9 a.m. EST.
Toni Braxton’s Unbreak My Heart Lifetime biopic drew 3.6 million viewers, becoming the network’s most-watched film in a year. Did you enjoy it? Because we sure did. Narrated and executive produced by Toni Braxton (who sang her own music in the movie), Unbreak My Heart followed the success of Lifetime’s much talked about Aaliyah and Whitney Houston biopics. Whose life story would you love to see on screen next? From Missy Elliott’s comeback to Brandy’s interesting career and love live and Jennifer Hudson’s incredible story, here are some candidates we think Lifetime should consider.
Vanessa Williams made headlines as the first Black winner of Miss America, a title that she would later relinquish after a Penthouse scandal threatened her burgeoning career. But Williams bounced back and conquered virtually every sector of entertainment: the musical charts, Broadway, film, and television. If that doesn’t scream biopic, I don’t know what does.
Last night (Dec. 5), Newark, New Jersey’s Prudential Center was turned all the way up for Hot 97’s “Hot for the Holidays” concert presented by none of other than master of ceremony, Busta Rhymes.
The lyricist brought a number of artists out to celebrate like Puff Daddy, Lil Wayne, Mariah Carey, Fetty Wap, French Montana, Rick Ross, and more. However, the highlight of the night was truly Mary J. Blige’s set when she surprised all and reunited with Lil’ Kim for their 1997 hit “I Can Love You.”
Of course, probably have not seeing the two perform this classic jam together for some decades now, the crowd went absolutely wild when the beat dropped on the smooth, mid-tempo joint. In all of her braggadocios bravado, a pint-sized Kim strutted out on stage in a mink shrug, leather thigh high boots, and a pair of black hip-hugging shorts, as she spit her verse.
The surprise set ended with the two divas embracing each other and leaving the crowd up on their feet applauding.
Check out the performance above.
“It’s A Part Of Who I Am, It’s A Part Of Why I Am”: “The Wiz Live” Cast Share What The Story Means To Them
Just when I thought I couldn’t be any more invested in “The Wiz Live,” we had an opportunity to speak with the cast members about their experience rehearsing for this live, televised event on Thursday, December 3. We interviewed some of the biggest names in entertainment and they had a lot to say about this project. But more than anything, the cast members kept reiterating how important The Wiz, both the play and the feature film, were to not only themselves but to the African American community as a whole.
Check out some of the thoughts, memories and passion shared by both the on-stage talent as well as the folks behind the curtain.
Stephanie Mills, Auntie Em
I knew of Shanice (who plays Dorothy) before they actually cast her because Kenny and I were having a talk and he said, ‘There’s this girl and I know she’s Dorothy, I know she’s Dorothy.’
I’ve given her love. I told her you can’t–I don’t want you to try to do what I did. She’s her Dorothy, the 2015 Dorothy. It’s her. I did my part 40 years ago.
It’s emotional because I see myself in her. I see the innocence, how young I was doing it and how afraid I was at that time. It brings back all those memories.
Executive producer, Craig Zadan: I don’t think we had any pressure. We took it on because we love it and we thought it would make a great show for us to do. What we were surprised at was the amount of people who called us. I would say this was the first time in our lives that very prominent African American artists, actors, directors, producers called us to say ‘Do you know how important this is to the community? Don’t blow it.’ And we realized at that moment that there’s a reverence for this material. We didn’t take it on for the reverence. We took it on because we loved it. But then you realize that there is that added responsibility of making sure that it’s done correctly. And we’ve done it correctly. We hope. We hope when you all see that you feel it’s done correctly too.
MN: Was there a moment when you felt like ‘ok, this is right’?
Executive producer, Neil Meron: Yeah. At the table read when it was all the talent in one room and we heard how much they collectively felt the same way about the material and what we were about to do. It felt good.
Amber Riley, Addaperle (Good Witch of the North)
I don’t know how old I was but I remember watching [The Wiz] and rewinding it over and over again. And I remember trying to do “Ease on Down The Road.” I remember the music, I specifically remember the music.
Before even hearing what names were going to be a part of [this production], I wanted to be a part of it anyway. I didn’t really care who was going to be in it. You know, this is iconic. The fact that my mom has seen it and that was her first Broadway show and then I saw it in the movie and now my niece is four is going to be able to watch it. Anything that can withstand generations has to be amazing. There’s something special about it and I really wanted to be a part of that.
At 44 years old, Mary J. Blige can say that she kicked drug and alcohol addictions, escaped abusive relationships, and beat the odds by rising to R&B stardom after dropping out of high school at 17 years old. She has quite the story—one that the New York City native would like to see come to life on a Broadway stage.
“I definitely want to see the Mary J. Blige story — or just one of the album cycles — on Broadway,” Blige, who is set to star in NBC’s The Wiz! Live, told Playbill.com. “To just have one of those albums, turns or times on Broadway would be crazy.”
In a 2008 interview with The Guardian, Blige described hitting rock bottom and realizing that she had to turn her life around if she wanted to survive.
“I saw my life going down a drain. One of my real close girlfriends died; I thought I was next. And then Aaliyah died, and then New York just blew up completely – like POW! – I thought I was next. And I realized I didn’t want to die like this, not tragic like this.”
She’d certainly have a lot of material to work with. That’s for sure.
Would you be here for a Mary J. Blige musical?
Just last month Apple Music premiered a dope commercial with Mary J. Blige, Taraji P. Henson and Kerry Washington, as the gal pals gave us all the feels of nostalgia with their throwback dance moves.
On Thursday (Nov. 5), clear the queen of R&B and soul excitedly announced that she now is a part of the brands popular Beats1 Radio. With he very own showed titled “Real Talk,” Mary kept the deets about her new show fairly low-key.
— Mary J. Blige (@maryjblige) November 5, 2015
However, knowing Mary’s extensive musical background that includes several critically acclaimed albums and chart-topping hits, we’re sure she’s going to bring nothing but sonically pleasing vibes to Beats1.
MJB’s “Real Talk” premieres Sunday, Nov. 8 at 2 p.m. ET. Will you be tuned in for Mary’s takeover?
In case you missed it, the theme for last night was #BlackGirlMagic. From the Emmy red carpet slayage, to the awards, the speeches and even the show of sisterhood it was good to watch us win last night.
And in addition to the actual award show itself, even a commercial was telling of our brilliance.
Apple Music tapped the immensely talented Ava DuVernay to direct a commercial advertising their playlist function with Mary J. Blige, Taraji P. Henson and Kerry Washington.
The women have what looks like a real girlfriend moment as they vibe out to some of their favorite songs from back in the day. There’s dancing, laughter and all around fabulousness.
Check it out below.
Apparently, there is more where this comes from. Ava told her Twitter followers that this ad is just one of three.
— Ava DuVernay (@AVAETC) September 21, 2015
Squee We wait with baited breath.
— Mary J. Blige (@maryjblige) September 17, 2015
If you love real R&B music, then you’ll be in for a treat with this newest tour announcement.
Mary J. Blige a.k.a the Queen of Hip Hop Soul has called on soulful chanteuse Tamar Braxton to join her on her “MJB Live!” North American tour this fall.
The recently announced 12-date tour will start in Augusta, Ga. on Oct. 30 and stop through North Carolina, Florida, New Jersey and more.
Mary’s classic catalog and funky dances moves paired with Braxton’s new hits, is bound to be a major success for both women and sounds like a show you won’t want to miss.
MJB Live! tickets are now on sale.
We’ve been telling you for months about NBC’s production of the Broadway classic, “The Wiz.” Now, as the December air date nears, we’ve got some casting information to share with you.
According to Variety, one of the upcoming show’s executive producers Craig Zadan, made the announcement today. Latifah will play the role of the mysterious and powerful wizard in the Emerald City.
And Mary J. Blige will play Eveillene better known as the Wicked Witch of the West, who rules over the Winkies and Winged Monkeys.
As for Dorothy, NBC is still holding a nationwide search to find a new, fresh-faced talent.
Latifah and Blige join Stephanie Mills, the former Dorothy, who will play Auntie Em in this version.
The show will premiere on December 3 and later, a Cirque du Soleil stage version of the production will air on Broadway.
We love us some Mary J Blige — always and forever! This R&B diva has been sharing her pain way before there was a Social Media network to blather too and we love her for it. Her upcoming documentary, The London Sessions follows the making of her 13th album and we’re already lining up behind our computers ready to cop it! Take a second and check out her flyest glam moments on and off the carpet.
All images courtesy of WENN