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Mary J. Blige


The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, Mary J. Blige’s anthems of resilience & empowerment have inspired a legion of loyal fans – particularly women – while influencing virtually every R&B artist of the last twenty years.

Blige signed with Uptown Records in 1989, becoming the label’s youngest and first female artist. Her debut singlehandedly kick-started the hip-hop soul genre and produced Number One R&B hits “Real Love” and “You Remind Me.” Her image – oversized jerseys, backwards baseball hats, and combat boots – introduced a new look to R&B music, and her lyrics embraced an authenticity that resonated with fans – especially women. Her mid-1990s hits with the Notorious B.I.G., Method Man, and JAY-Z created the blueprint for R&B/hip-hop collaborations for decades to follow.

Blige emerged as a songwriter with hits “Be Happy” and “My Life” from her sophomore effort My Life, while her song “Not Gon’ Cry” showcased the emotional ache of Blige’s affecting vocals. The 2000s ushered in more success with Number One hits “Family Affair” and Grammy-winning “Be Without You.” Blige continues to craft hits, including her ode to unapologetic happiness “Just Fine,” critically acclaimed London Sessions, and collaborations with Inductees Ray Charles, Smokey Robinson, and Missy Elliott. In 2018, she received two Oscar nominations for the film Mudbound and became the first person nominated for acting and original song in the same year. In 2022, Blige co-headlined the Super Bowl halftime show alongside Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Eminem – earning her an Emmy.

Blige’s music echoes our experiences with love and life. She helps us move on, move out, and move up. She’s the much-needed soundtrack to our heartache, vulnerability, and courage to refuse to accept anything less than we deserve. Long Live Queen Mary J!

Selected Discography

“Real Love,” What’s the 411? (1992) • “I’m Goin’ Down,” “My Life,” My Life (1994) • “Not Gon’ Cry” (1996) • Share My World (1997) • “Your Child,” Mary (1999) • “Family Affair,” No More Drama (2001) • “Be Without You,” The Breakthrough (2005) • Strength of a Woman (2017) • “Mighty River,” Mudbound soundtrack (2017)


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