All Articles Tagged "mary j. blige"
Today marks the release of Mary J Blige’s thirteenth album. It’s called London Sessions. So she appeared on “The Wendy Williams Show” today to discuss the process of making it. The title comes from the fact that she traveled to London by herself to record this album with producers and engineers she had never worked with before, in an unfamiliar environment. Mary told Wendy that she felt like she needed to do something different as an artist in order to shake herself up a bit.
In addition to recording and enjoying London’s parks, Mary made a point to reach out to Amy Winehouse’s father while she was there. Mary has said before that she was greatly inspired by Winehouse’s music and identified with her struggle with drugs and alcohol. Mary told Wendy that she’d felt like just as she was coming out of that hell, Winehouse was walking into it.
Mary said that she always admired the fact that Amy was open and honest about her struggle, particularly with her song “Rehab.” Which led Wendy to ask Mary how she managed to get clean without the aid of rehab.
Here’s what she had to say.
I’m real with myself. I’m hard. I do the hard stuff first. I pray and I really look at what I need to do to take responsibly. And that’s the hard part when you look at what you’re doing wrong. And that’s why I think people need or want to go see a doctor to get to the part where they say, ‘It’s me. I’m responsible for this.’ I’m not afraid to say that. Because you’ll end up stuck and in denial if you don’t do that.
Mary J also revealed that she had to stop socially drinking because it didn’t work. She realized that she was overdoing it.
And then they quickly transitioned to her marriage and since she couldn’t remember, Wendy asked her how she got married.
In my house. The goal– I didn’t want a bunch of fake…I wanted love there. I wore a white gown, a Vera Wang. It was sleek.
Then Wendy asked about her upcoming anniversary and if she makes a big deal of it.
I’m just happy that my man is still with me and he’s had the courage to stay with me. I’m grateful for that.
Wendy also asked her to clarify the no friends of the opposite sex comment.
There was more said than that. That thing was taken totally out of context. He’s had friends before he’s known me. And I know all of his female friends. They’re like his sisters so we’re all family. But any of these new chicks and all of this new stuff…(makes a swatting /”get out of here” motion.) And if they are new, we’ll all make friends. We’ll all be friends.
Now, that she’s clarified her comments, do you agree with her?
She also addressed her father being stabbed by his ex girlfriend and then she and Wendy played a game, giving out advice to the audience members. You can watch Mary’s full segment in the video below.
MadameNoire recently told readers Naya Rivera agrees with Mary J. Blige about their husbands not being able to have female friends. Doesn’t that sound controlling much? But they’re not alone. MN compiled a list of 10 women who are holding on too tight to their men. Some of these celebrity wives and girlfriends are jealous or insecure and the others just keep their men on leashes.
One of Mary J. Blige’s most popular albums, My Life was not only popular for it showcasing Blige’s growth as an artist and being one of her most personal albums, but for its critical acclaim. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the album, MadameNoire compiled a list of secrets you didn’t know about the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul’s sophomore album.
Like firstly, My Life is an inside look at Blige’s abusive and depressive life at the time — including her tumultuous relationship with K-Ci from Jodeci and substance abuse.
“Sorry Ladies, But You Got To Get Back”: Naya Rivera Stands With Mary J Blige, Doesn’t Want Husband To Have Female Friends
We told you yesterday that Mary J. Blige said, in her marriage, she and Kendu Isaacs don’t do the whole friends of the opposite sex thing. As she told Stella Magazine, in a marriage, it’s not a good look:
“All females for me, all guys for him. There’s none of that, ‘Oh, that’s my female friend. Oh, that’s my guy friend.’ No, not in a marriage, I’ve never seen that work.”
While sitting in as guest co-host on “The View” this week, Naya Rivera was asked her thoughts on Blige’s statements now that she is married to husband Ryan Dorsey, and she actually agreed, saying that by having friends of the opposite sex, you might take your issues to them, instead of hashing them all out with your partner:
“I think that’s amazing. I’m with Mary. I just got married and I’m pretty sure I told my husband that like two days ago.”
When the audience clapped, she was surprised.
“I really didn’t think I would get support on that, thank you so much. It’s really not so much a rule as I understand it, because I feel like you’re playing with fire and opening up the floodgates here, and you’re having issues in your marriage, but someone is going to talk to the opposite sex to get advice or whatever and you should be talking to your partner. So I don’t believe in it.
I feel like there’s a difference between having an issue with that when you’re married and when you’re just dating someone. I feel like when you’re married, if you’re now someone’s wife, I’m sorry, ladies, but you got to get back a little bit more. It’s different.”
Rivera also briefly spoke on that lashing she took from people, including Jonathan Cheban, for criticizing Kim Kardashian’s Paper magazine cover. After Whoopi Goldberg showed all the parodies of Kardashian’s magazine cover, Rivera pointed out that she obviously wasn’t the only person who had something to say about the controversial cover:
“People kind of really cared a lot…I do want to point out that was Miley Cyrus making fun of that. I didn’t know if I was the only person who had anything to say about this.”
But back to the matter at hand, what are thinking of Rivera’s statements about having friends of the opposite sex outside of marriage? As I said before, I’m all for keeping the friends you made before and during your years dating, but I don’t see the point in trying to create new friendships with men and women of the opposite sex once you’re married. But no friends of the opposite sex at all, even from the past? I don’t know about all that…
Mary J. Blige Says She Doesn’t Have Male Friends And Kendu Isn’t Allowed To Have Female Friends: “I’ve Never Seen That Work”
A couple of weeks ago, we introduced our new segment, Is This Petty?, which raises questions about different issues that arise in dating and relationships. Our first entry questioned whether or not it’s petty for people to ask that their partners not make friends of the opposite sex. Interestingly, songstress Mary J. Blige recently weighed in on that very topic during an interview with Stella magazine and the Queen of Hip Hop Soul says that she’s not here for any of it.
“All females for me, all guys for him,” she expressed. “There’s none of that, ‘Oh, that’s my female friend. Oh, that’s my guy friend.’ No, not in a marriage, I’ve never seen that work.”
Mary also opened up about never birthing children, but seeing her husband, Kendu Isaacs’ three kids as her own.
“I was never sitting around [thinking], ‘Oh God, I want a baby.’ No. And then these very special kids came along and it was like they were tailor made for me to be their stepmom.
“I’ve known the younger two since they were babies, so they really are my family,” Mary continued.
She also expressed how much married life has changed her.
“Being a single person and an artist, there’s a lot of selfishness that you don’t even know you have. Being a wife, it’s not all about me.”
Check out Mary’s full interview here.
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Back in Janaury, we told you about Cheryl White, the woman who was accused of stabbing her former lover, Thomas Blige, who is the father of R&B songstress Mary J. Blige. As previously reported, a lovers’ quarrel ensued between the two after Blige discovered White slashing his tires. The dispute turned bloody when White allegedly stabbed Blige three times in his neck, chest and arm. Thankfully, the wounds were not fatal.
According to the Battle Creek Enquirer, White pleaded no contest to assault with intent to commit great bodily harm last month. She was recently sentenced at the Calhoun County Court to 365 days in prison with credit for 270 days already served. Per the plea deal, prosecutors agreed not to sentence the 50-year-old to more than one year behind bars.
White has also been sentenced to five years probation and has been ordered not to contact Blige during her probation period. She will be required to complete counseling and mental health treatment in addition to paying $17, 290 to Mary Jane Productions for Blige’s medical bills, which were paid by his daughter.
Blige was not present in the courtroom during sentencing. He moved out of state after the incident. White declined to speak at her sentencing and cried quietly while standing beside her attorneys.
Have we forgotten about Mary J. Blige?
It’s such a weird question, right? I thought so too. And then I read this piece written by Elias Leight on Salon entitled, “Mary J. Blige’s curse: Why the world ignores one of the best living R&B musicians,” and suddenly I didn’t know what to think anymore.
For one, who is ignoring Mary J. Blige? I don’t.
But according to Leight, lots of people are because apparently we missed the memo that the queen of an entire genre of music called hip-hop soul is fading into obscurity. Seriously, he claims that people are actually forgetting about her altogether:
“Mary J. Blige, a onetime superstar with stacks of Grammies and plenty of hits, now lingers in semi-obscurity — eight of her albums went platinum, but her latest, “Think Like a Man Too,” won’t get near that mark. Meanwhile, Sam Smith gets to No. 1 by relying heavily on the gospel-influenced style that Blige has down pat, though he sounds more old-fashioned than she ever did. While Smith takes the charts, he doesn’t win (critical) hearts — those are controlled by acts like Little Dragon, How to Dress Well or Jessie Ware, who often record for independent labels. The Blige connection is strong here too, as the music of this group is explicitly influenced by mainstream ‘90s R&B, which Blige revolutionized. Even though her fingerprints are everywhere, she is mostly ignored, crowded out by old-school-sounding white belters on one side and the hip indie groups on the other.
It’s actually remarkable that Blige is even still making music. Other big names from ’90s R&B — including Janet Jackson, Brandy and Monica — are rarely heard from. Even ladies who had more recent success in the first half of the ‘00s, like Ashanti, Toni Braxton and Kelly Rowland, struggle to make a dent now. (All three put out albums within the last 18 months; none got any attention.) If you are a woman making R&B, especially one older than 40, and your name is not Beyoncé, few people care.”
‘Tis is true.
Initially, I didn’t know what to think about this essay considering the fact that Blige has put out new music consistently every couple of years. However, her last three albums have only gone gold and the last album, A Mary Christmas, barely cracked the top 10 charts. Not to mention the snub she received from the Academy when it failed to nominate her song, “The Living Proof,” which was the title cut from the soundtrack for The Help, for Best Original Song. Despite being near and dear to most of the hearts of those who grew up with her sound, Mary Jane just doesn’t seem to get the reverence she deserves. I mean, Billboard? Academy of Music? MTV? BET even! Where is Blige’s lifetime achievement award?
And even though I still bump her music to this day (at least once a week actually), I have to admit that most of the cuts are from her earlier albums, particularly the eras between What’s the 411? and No More Drama. I have a couple of the newer records, but you know…it’s not the same.
However, even among the greats, there is a hesitation to listen to their new music once they hit a certain age. Outside of Blige (and a few others), no one is more revered than Aretha Franklin. She is cited as an influence for many music (and even non-musical) artists as well as the soul genre in general. Yet her last three albums, So Damn Happy, This Christmas, Aretha and Aretha: A Woman Falling Out of Love, barely registered in the top 100 of the album charts when they came out. Sure, you can say that Millennials and the generation after that were not born into the era of the Queen’s reign, so they would not have much of a reference point like us Generation X folks and above. However, even the Rose is Still A Rose album was only made popular (rising to number 30 on the US Billboard Charts and certified gold) by the inclusion of Lauryn Hill’s production and influence.
Now one might arguably state that the reason we tend to ignore the current tunes of the greats is because of the changing landscape of music, which has moved away from that basement beat and gritty street feel that Blige helped to popularize. Likewise, those artists, including Blige, are still great, but have failed to keep up with the change in musical tides. In spite of a few crossover cuts here and there, including performing tracks with the likes of Bono over the years, Blige has pretty much kept it ‘hood (“Hood Love” anyone?), choosing to perform duets with rappers more than rockers. And it could be that close connection with hip-hop, which has prohibited her from gaining international success like many of her fellow divas.
That and Beyoncé.
But what do you all think? Does Mary J. Blige get the recognition she deserves?
I can name quite a few classic songs off the top of my my head that Dr. Dre produced for some of rap’s heaviest hitters: “Nuthin But A G Thang,” “Who Am I (What’s My Name),” “In Da Club,” “The Real Slim Shady,” “Boyz-n-the-hood” and so on and so forth. But while the new billionaire is known for his beats (you like my play on words there?) he’s done for rappers and the impact they’ve had on hip-hop, he’s also done a number of tracks in R&B and pop music for a little bit of everybody, including the ladies. Here are nine surprising songs by and for the ladies that were produced by Dr. Dre (and if you already knew all these, kudos and a big ‘ol cookie to you!).
Mary J Blige is back to being scorned… at least in her new song for the Think Like A Man Too soundtrack. In the new banger Mary issues a warning to a man who’s been misbehaving saying that the next time he looks up, she’ll be packing her suitcase. Check out some of the lyrics below.
Cuz I can’t keep on crying when I see ya
Messing up my makeup
Thinking you gon’ change but
Everything’s the same (yeah)
Started keeping secrets
Got my heart in pieces
I’m about to pick myself up (yup)
You gon’ wake up in the morn
And find out that I’m already gone
Got a one way ticket
Here’s your goodbye song
And while you’re trying to explain
I’ll be zipping up my suitcase
Word is all of the music on the soundtrack is inspired by the movie, so we’re wondering if there’s going to be a breakup among the cast members in this new movie. While the film’s sequel will be released on June 20, the soundtrack will drop on June 17th. Interestingly enough, Mary J Blige will handle the entire soundtrack. She takes on a remake of Shalamar’s “A Night To Remember” and there are songs featuring The Dream and Pharrell.
Here’s a track listing
1. A Night to Remember
2. Vegas Nights feat. The-Dream
3. Moment of Love
4. See That Boy Again feat. Pharrell Williams
6. Kiss and Make Up
9. I Want You
10. Self Love
11. Power Back
12. All Fun and Games
Check out the song below and let us know what you think.
Pass or play?
If you’re feeling this song, you can download it on Amazon and iTunes next week on June 3.
Welcome to our weekly column, Reset. Written by Karen Taylor Bass, this column, published each Tuesday, is about life lessons learned and mastered mentally, spiritually, and physically and how they contribute to a successful life and career.
Music is power. The right song can take you from pain to inspiration and transform your mood to belief, power, and I can-do-it. Yes. Life is a soundtrack and when you select a winning compilation, all your struggles seem worth it.
I have pressed reset several times and taken many missteps to master the lessons and create a journey worth living. Life will never be perfect, but if we select inspiring grooves on the path to renewal, it makes life worth living.
Get ready to let it all go, be free, get naked with your emotion, and allow the magic of music to uplift you. Here is to hope, love, and inspiration.
Allow me to share some of my favorite tunes, which have provided me with the ultimate instruction and playbook to love self stronger; have faith; and, ultimately change the course to press RESET, when stuff isn’t working.