Mary J. Blige Explains That Burger King Commercial And Why Fans Don’t Like “Happy Mary”
Keeping in mind the news of her split from husband Kendu Isaacs, we can all agree that Mary J. Blige has had a rough start to 2017. But according to the singer’s new interview with the Los Angeles Times, it’s actually been a rough number of years.
Isaacs became the singer’s manager after they married in 2003, and over the last few years (maybe the last decade actually), he’s steered the ship in places that fans weren’t crazy about. She sang less about heartbreak and more about being “Just Fine.” She starred in a panned commercial about crispy chicken sandwiches for Burger King. They were arguing at her album release parties. Her charity was accused of financial misconduct. She had one financial woe after another. It was all bad there for a while, both in terms of her personal life and in terms of her music.
“What I think was happening is my fans were confused with my emotion,” Blige said. “I couldn’t tell them that I was suffering. And if I did, they wouldn’t believe me, because they saw me still in the marriage. I think people were confused as to what was going on.”
Not to mention that Isaacs was still at the helm of her career, and some of the things she was being signed up for weren’t a good look. She told the Los Angeles Times that she has since learned not to put her career in the hands of others.
“You know, it all boils down to me taking responsibility for my own career and not trusting people with it,” she said. “Or making decisions for me. I didn’t know the Burger King commercial was going to turn into ‘she’s singing about chicken.'”
She continued, elaborating on the backlash she faced for singing about “Crispy chicken, fresh lettuce, three cheeses, French dressing wrapped up in a…tasty…flour…tortillaaaaaaa.” (Sorry, I had to do it.)
“People were coming like bees in a swarm,” she said. “I’d never seen so much hatred come from a career mistake. Then right after that it was the FFAWN fraud and all the [stuff] that went down with that. It had nothing to do with me, but my name is on everything. Taxes, this and that. It was one thing after the next. It was all so negative. None of it was no understanding for me being a human being. At that moment, I was like, ‘This is a wake-up call.’ Everybody was scattering, including [my husband/manager], and left me by myself. That let me know, ‘OK, I’ve got to really learn how to take care of Mary.'”
She is taking good care of herself, by herself, for the first time in a long time. That’s probably why her latest album, Strength of a Woman, is so good. (Seriously, there are back-to-back jams.) She’s speaking from the hurt and pain that many of her fans know from previous albums, most notably, gems like My Life. One great question posed in the interview was what Blige thinks about fans who only seem to connect to “Happy Marry.” Surprisingly, she understands why.
“I can’t be angry at them, because misery is all they know,” Blige said. “I don’t say that in a negative way. If you know something else, you want something else — happiness, peace, confidence. So you want that from me. If they knew that, they would want that for me. I want to see them rise up and move on with me. But you’ve got to respect where people are. It has nothing to do with me. I have to keep moving.”
“I’m in pain and hurting and all that stuff, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel,” she added. “This [stuff] hurts … and it hurts too bad to be hurting and know better. I know better. I know there’s love somewhere for me. I’m not going to give up on love.”
Image via WENN