@stephenasmith @FirstTake congrats on the new era!! I'm still trying to get use to the dynamic of this era.
Mary J. Blige (born 11.1971) Mary J. Blige is an American singer / rapper and songwriter. She has sold over 40 million records.
Breakthrough: In 1988, Mary J. Blige recorded a cover of 'Caught Up In the Rapture' by Anita Baker, in a shopping mall booth. The tape made its way to the president of Uptown Records, Andre Harrell. In 1989, Mary was signed to the label and became its first female artist.
Initially, Blige acted as a backing singer for Uptown's more established artists. In 1991, she performed on Showtime at the Apollo, singing with Jeff Redd. In 1992, Blige featured in her first national appearance, performing with Grand Puba on Yo! MTV Raps.
Mary J. Blige's debut album was overseen by Sean 'Puffy' Combs, an A&R executive for Uptown Records at the time.
What's the 411? was released in 1992. Its debut single, 'You Remind Me' reached number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Its follow-up 'Real Love' became Blige's first top 10 hit, making it to number seven. What's the 411? spawned What's the 411? Remix, which was released whilst Mary worked on her second album.
In the Limelight: My Life was released in 1994, again under the watchful eye of Sean Combs, who had also taken on the role of Blige's manager.
'Be Happy' was the first single from My Life and reached number 29. Next was a cover of Rose Royce's 'I'm Going Down', which was Blige's first major UK hit, reaching number 12.
Suge Knight, signed Mary to Suge Management as a consultant and in 1995, she became involved in a number of outside projects, such as recording a cover of '(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman' for the FOX network TV series New York Undercover. She also worked with Method Man on the Grammy Award-winning 'I'll Be There For You / You're All I Need to Get By'. Early in 1996, she released 'Not Gon' Cry', written by Babyface, for the film Waiting to Exhale.
In 1997, Share My World, Blige's third album, was released. A number of producers had taken Sean Combs' place, including R. Kelly and Jimmy Jam. The album debuted at number one in the US and launched five hit singles, including 'Love Is All We Need' (featuring Nas), 'I Can Love You' (featuring Lil' Kim) and 'Everything'. The accompanying tour gave birth to the Gold-certified live album, The Tour.
Blige's fourth album, Mary, was released in 1999. The album featured a number of famous guests, including Elton John (on 'Deep Inside'), Lauryn Hill (on 'All That I Can Say') and Aretha Franklin (on 'Don't Waste Your Time').
In 2001, No More Drama was released, spawning her first number one single, the Dr. Dre produced 'Family Affair'. The album sold almost two million copies but her label, MCA, repackaged the album with a new cover and track-listing, including 'Rainy Dayz', featuring Ja Rule. The song 'He Think I Don't Know' won Blige a 'Best Female R&B Vocal Performance' Grammy.
Love & Life, released in 2003, saw Mary working with Combs again. The album debuted at number one in the US but its lead single, 'Love @ 1st Sight' received a disappointing response, as did her duets with Sting and Eve.
The Breakthrough (2005) featured will.i.am, Dre & Vidal and Bryan Michael Cox and has sold over seven million copies across the globe. Her duet with U2 on their song 'One' became Blige's biggest hit in the UK.
In 2006, Blige released a compilation entitled Reflections - A Retrospective as well as a duet with Ludacris, 'Runaway Love', for his album Release Therapy. She also appeared with Aretha Franklin on the soundtrack to Bobby, singing 'Never Gonna Break My faith', which won a Grammy for 'Best Gospel Performance'.
Growing Pains (2007), was Blige's eighth studio album. The Grammy-nominated 'Just Fine' saw a return to the UK charts for Blige. 'Work That' was used to accompany an iTunes commercial.
In 2008, Mary J. Blige embarked on a tour with Jay-Z and they released a duet, 'You're Welcome'.
Released by Interscope Records #ForThe49.
If anything's going to move you to tears today, it will most likely be this new song from Interscope Records: 'Hands', a tribute to the victims of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, featuring Britney Spears, Selena Gomez, Mary J. Blige, Imagine Dragons and many others.
Britney Spears opens Orlando benefit song 'Hands'
Seeing a bunch of artists come together like this, whether you like modern pop music or not, is a touching thing to behold. And when it's to support an entire community, not just the victims themselves, there's something even more powerful about it. Because it wasn't just the people killed and injured and their friends and families that were affected by the tragedy that took place at Pulse nightclub on June 12 2016, it was the entire LGBT community who felt a blow unlike anything they've ever experienced before.
Continue reading: Britney Spears Opens Tear-Jerking Orlando Tribute Song 'Hands'
The actress joins Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige in the upcoming special.
NBC have finally found their Dorothy for the upcoming live TV broadcast of musical 'The Wiz'. Shanice Williams, an 18 year old New Jersey native, has been announced as being cast in the role for the production which will air live on NBC December 3rd.
Shanice Williams will join Queen Latifah in 'The Wiz' live.
Speaking on the ‘Today’ show the young actress said, "This is always what I wanted to do. So I guess I'm ready. I'm ready now.” So far the special has also cast Queen Latifah as The Wiz, Mary J. Blige as the Wicked Witch of the West and David Alan Grier as the Cowardly Lion.
Continue reading: NBC Casts Newcomer Shanice Williams As Dorothy In 'The Wiz Live'
Motorhead, FFS and George Clinton make for exciting surprise additions.
After a bit of reflection, 'Coming to London' just sounded so odd. We live in a world now, after all, where artists need nothing more than an internet connection to be able to collaborate with each other, meaning Mary J Blige's announcement that she was forsaking New York for Britain's capital had something of a twentieth century ring about it. Countering, the singer explained that this wasn't some kind of Royal engagement from her perspective, and that she wanted to use the energy and creative vibe generated by the Thames to give her music a regenerative makeover. With the cutting edge being provided by a clutch of talented young froth from around the city, 'The London Sessions' are the result.
For much of its first third, it's easy for the listener to ask themselves why she bothered to make the trip. Opener 'Therapy' - co-written with cherubic, Grammy scoffing Sam Smith - is a sardonic, bare bones number that leaves few stones unturned lyrically, but opens up no new doors. It's followed by 'Doubt', a slightly overblown tale of ultimate redemption clearly indebted to gospel but again, not really very well... Shoreditch. Make no mistake, this is Blige doing what she does impeccably, her voice still honeyed where it needs to be, raw in other moments, but again the pattern of living within her glossy means continues through 'Not Loving You' and 'When You're Gone'; both polished, mid-tempo and full of poise but, equally, neither being anything which breaks her mould.
Blige in the build up had spoken about immersing herself in the underground house sounds of the nineties, beats which outfits like Disclosure and Gorgon City have reproduced so faithfully over the last couple of years, and the breakthrough finally comes on 'Right Now', produced and co-written by Blige with the former (MJB gets those joint chops on every song) but bearing their spidery minimalism throughout. Finally, with any inhibitions abandoned, what follows is a kind of whistle-stop genre tour, from the rave squawks and big piano vamps of 'My Loving', the crisp two step of 'Pick Me Up' through to the lush disco of 'Follow'. Despite the diversity, each of these you think speak more to the singer's open mindedness and versatility rather than a sea change in her philosophy; when in Rome and all that, rather than casting aside a formula which has helped sell more than 50 million albums worldwide.
Continue reading: Mary J. Blige - The London Sessions Album Review
New acts have been announced for the New Look Wireless Festival taking place in London this July.
Wireless Festival goers will be delighted to hear that new acts have been announced for this year's line-up. London's biggest pop festival is looking better than ever with some explosive first announcements.
The weekend of the 3rd-5th July 2015 will feature some of the UK and beyond's finest artists performing at Finsbury Park in London. Among new additions are A$AP Rocky, Mary J. Blige, Major Lazer, Stromae, Partynextdoor, Netsky, Robin Schulz, Tinashe, Rae Sremmurd, Collie Buddz and Pusha T.
Mary J. Blige arrives with her entourage at Los Angeles International (LAX) airport and is filmed getting into an awaiting car as her assistants load up the trunk. The singer snubs questions from the paparazzi about whether or not she is going to perform at the Grammys and what she thinks of new hip-hop drama series 'Empire'.
The musicians were among the honorees, while Mary J. Blige and Ne-Yo took to the stage to perform.
Some of the biggest names in music were among the esteemed guests of the 2015 BET Honors held at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C., with Kanye West and Usher Raymond among honorees and Mary J. Blige closing the ceremony with her performance.
Mary J. Blige closed the show with her performance
Unsurprisingly, it was Kanye West who landed the coveted Visionary Award at the event which he attended alongside his reality star wife Kim Kardashian. While the multi-Platinum rapper may be one of the best modern popstars, having released his sixth consecutive number one album 'Yeezus' two years ago, he's hardly going to win any prizes for modesty. Despite himself, he quipped to the audience upon receiving his award, 'I understand what it is to be humbled for the first time'.
Continue reading: Kanye West And Usher Take The Spotlight For The 2015 BET Honors [Photos]
Mary J Blige says being true to her fans and taking risks is the key to staying relevant.
Fresh from being named the most successful R&B artist of all time by Billboard magazine, Mary J. Blige has explained why she believes she has stayed relevant over the past 25 years. The singer - who releases her latest album The London Sessions on December 2 - was speaking on the red-carpet at the American Music Awards, where she also performed.
Mary J. Blige at the American Music Awards in 2014
"Being myself, but not being afraid to take risks" she said when asked the key to staying popular in an ever-changing music business, "Staying true to my fans and knowing they are the reason that have gotten me here. And staying rounded and spiritual and prayerful. Knowing that God is first. That's what did it. Not wavering at all."
Continue reading: Mary J. Blige Reveals How She Stayed Relevant For 25 Years
'Britney Jean' debuted at No. 4 in the chart, while Brooks scored his ninth No. 1
Garth Brooks released his new box set, Blame It All on My Roots, to an eager fan-base last week, who have managed to see it rise from No. 3 in the Billboard 200 to the No. 1 spot this week. Britney Spears saw her new album debut to a rather lacklustre start on the other hand, as it only just managed to crack the top five, debuting at No. 4.
Brooks is back on top with his latest compilation
Brooks' second box set to reach the top of the charts - his first being 1998's The Limited Series - will have undoubtedly been helped by value Walmart were offering the six disc collection for. Initially being sold for $29.98 before a sale price of $24.96 was introduced this week, Blame It All on My Roots will likely be lining plenty of country fan's stockings come Christmas. The box set sold an additional 146,000 copies this week, enough to see it move two places to the top.
Christmas time is coming but for young Langston, happy holidays aren't going to come easy. He is forced to take a trip to Harlem, New York to stay with his churchgoing grandparents Reverend Cornell and Aretha Cobbs who he has never yet met after his mother is handed an eviction notice from their Baltimore home. Langston struggles to abide by the Reverend's strict household rules and the frequent religious worship he has to undertake while living there, and so the street smart teen winds up getting into trouble in his desperation to return home and help his mother. Despite this, he picks up a few new friends and manages to save his Christmas from becoming a complete disaster with a little help from his guardian angel.
Continue: Black Nativity Trailer
Date of birth
11th January, 1971
@stephenasmith @FirstTake congrats on the new era!! I'm still trying to get use to the dynamic of this era.
Happy Birthday to my baby sister Jonquell!!! You are one of the hardest working women I know and… https://t.co/BwqeWhL2Yd
Chillin with my big sister in NOLA. We are on an adventure shooting this movie! So much LOVE out… https://t.co/y7DIBhjadi
#TBT My babies. #Nas & jordankyliee https://t.co/NUhubjDdSC
My deepest prayers and condolences go out to the families and the people of Orlando. This is so… https://t.co/9GR1CGiyrH
Congratulations and Happy Graduation to my amazing Godson!!! This is a huge achievement and you… https://t.co/OQzCUMpzHU
Thank you for all your strength and inspiring words of wisdom that encourage us to be the best… https://t.co/ubwMgiJZze
Just posted a photo https://t.co/Vi3sUGFlPP
Emmy panel last night. #thewiz https://t.co/W0LNgIPEdc
Last night Emmy panel with @hollyrpeete #thewiz https://t.co/S6gQgjbI7p
Tune in now on @Beats1 !! #MJBRealTalk https://t.co/rGvSOJLQRy
Happy Sunday!! I have @llcoolj the G.O.A.T. with me today on #MJBRealTalk! https://t.co/vAR31nqqXX https://t.co/FGeCS8J4FU
OKC are wearing GSW out. They are completely out playing them on both ends of the floor. Wow.
Happy Birthday Heavy!!! I miss you like crazy!!! Thank you for all your words of wisdom and your… https://t.co/oBRHRjSydu
@stephenasmith thank you 4 taken up for @Money23Green. It really does not look like he intended to kick him. And we all wanna see him play.
Sorry I am late...Happy Birthday Queen @naomicampbell!!! Hope you have the best one ever!!!… https://t.co/8fC762d9Ic
#BadBoyReunionConcert #MJB https://t.co/jLmnOBFhXG
#BadBoyReunionConcert #MJB #PuffDaddy https://t.co/PDIZOTsuAA
#BadBoyReunionConcert #MJB https://t.co/fflpn6QTHE
It has been beyond a blessing to know someone this great, this focused, this talented and this… https://t.co/N2ONhp4gIq
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