Mary J. Blige has reached a major milestone in her career! This past weekend on July 28, marked the 20 year anniversary of the Queen of Hip Hop Soul being in the game, having dropped her first and phenomenal album What’s the 411? back in 1992. That iconic work introduced us to the singer’s signature blend of R&B melodies over Hip Hop beats, tinged with gritty vocals delivered with an edgy, B-girl style. With hits like “Real Love”, “Love no Limit” and “Reminisce”, Blige could make you dance, relax and cry all on one record. Blige even hipped some young’uns to the super soulstress Chaka Khan, with her now classic remake of “Sweet Thing”. If you weren’t down with Blige back in the day, you just weren’t down.
Not many artists in the R&B world have had the staying power of Blige, while managing to keep her projects fresh and authentic, retaining and even gaining a new fan base. The Yonkers native has managed to successfully crossover while remaining firmly planted in her urban roots, a feat many haven’t been able to master. And with a catalog of hits that includes “No Drama”, “Be Without You”, "Not Gon' Cry", “Just Fine” and her recent record setting top ten single with Drake, "Mr. Wrong", among many, many others, Blige shows us how an artist remains relevant without sacrificing the essence of what made her a standout.
One of the many things we love about Blige is her honesty in her life, as we have witnessed her struggle and victory over personal challenges, blooming into a woman with personal power, as well as influence in the industry. We’ve experienced how that transformation translates to her work. The personal and professional progression of Blige is one of the many reasons, in addition to her evolving style, that she remains one of our most relatable faves!
Congrats to Mary J. Blige on reaching this significant benchmark in her career! Blige “stays winning” for providing us with a bumping musical backdrop to our lives. Mary J. Blige is an artist and a woman who not only survives, but excels!
What are some of your favorite Mary J. Blige songs?