Who is Mary J Blige?
Besides gaining popularity as “The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul,” Mary J. Blige is also an American singer, songwriter, actress, and philanthropist.
She is generally considered an icon in the global music industry and popular culture.
Blige has received nine Grammy Awards, four American Music Awards, and ten Billboard Music Awards.
She has also been nominated for three Golden Globe Awards and two Academy Awards. One of them was for her supporting role in a 2017 film titled “Mudbound” and the other for its original song called “Mighty River.” Subsequently, she became the first artist to be nominated for acting and songwriting in that year.
Mary J. Blige is still recognized as one of the biggest R&B stars of the ’90s. Her records, My Life (1994), Share My World (1997), The Tour(1998), and Mary (1999), were well received by the world and were all successes. She has worked with prominent artists like DMX, Lil Kim, and Busta Rhymes.
Mary J. Blige is the only known artist with Grammy wins in Rap, Pop, Gospel, and R&B. Throughout her career, Blige released 15 studio albums, all of which reached the top ten on the Billboard 200 chart including four number one albums.
Some of her biggest hits include “Be Without You,” “Not Gon’ Cry,” and “Family Affair,” which was a Billboard Hot 100 number-one single.
Blige has also made a series of appearances both on television and movie screens with her roles in films like Prison Song (2001), Rock of Ages(2012), her Oscar-winning performance as Florence Jackson in 2017’s Mudbound and The Violent Heart (2021).
In 2019, she also starred in Season 1 of the Netflix series “The Umbrella Academy.” She currently stars in the highly-rated TV Drama Power Book II: Ghost.
Her impact in the music industry has put women on top as Billboard ranked her as the most successful female R&B/Hip-hop artist of the past 25 years. In 2012, VH1 ranked Blige at number 9 in “The 100 Greatest Women in Music” list.
|Full Name:||Mary Jane Blige|
|Popular Name:||Mary J. Blige|
|Birth Date:||January 11, 1971|
|Parents:||Thomas Blige and Cora Blige|
|Siblings:||LaTonha Blige-Dacosta, Bruce Miller, Jonquil|
|Birth Place:||Bronx, New York, United States|
|Education:||Roosevelt High School|
|Wife/Spouse:||Martin Kendu Isaacs (m. 2003; div. 2018)|
|Net Worth:||$20 Million|
|Source of Wealth:||Music|
|Weight:||66kg (145 Ibs)|
Early Life and Career Information
Mary Jane Blige was born in the borough of the Bronx, in the United States of America. She was the second child of Cora Blige, a nurse, and Thomas Blige, a Jazz musician.
Blige has an Older sister Latonya, and a younger brother Bruce Miller. Her mother was involved in another relationship after her divorce from Mary’s father, which gave her a younger sister Jonquil.
Blige spent her early childhood in Atlanta, Georgia. She was first introduced to music by her mother, who sang in the house every chance she got, so she loved music at a very young age.
Mary moved back to New York, where she lived in the Schlobohm Housing Projects in Yonkers with her family. Her family lived solely on her mother’s minimal income as a nurse after her father departed in the 1970s.
Her father suffered from alcoholism and post-traumatic stress disorder. These were likely consequences he had to bear from being a veteran in the Vietnam War. As such, she lived in an abusive environment where her father often assaulted her mother.
At the age of five, she was molested by a family friend. Afterward, she endured a series of sexual harassment from her peers in her teenage years. This led her to turn to drugs, alcohol, and promiscuous sex with the hope of numbing the pain. Eventually, Mary dropped out of school in her junior year.
In 1988, Blige played around with her cousin at a Galleria Mall near Yonkers when she recorded a cover of “Caught up in the Rapture,” an Anita Baker Classic in a recording booth.
Her stepfather gave the tape to a friend in the music industry, and it eventually landed in possession of Andre Harrell, Founder of Uptown Records. Harrell was in Yonkers the next day, and they immediately started work together. Before she knew it, Mary J. Blige was a signed recording artist.
From there on, her career went up; she released a total of eighty-three singles and fifteen studio albums. She’s said to have sold 50 million albums over the years.
Mary J. Blige, in this modern-day, is still recognized as a living legend because of her tremendous contribution and achievements in the music industry.
Mary J Blige’s Net Worth
With her track record of eight multi-platinum albums, nine Grammy Awards (plus a staggering 32 nominations), two Golden Globe nominations, two Academy Award nominations, and a SAG nomination, Blige has cemented herself as a global superstar.
It’s no wonder she has generated herself an impeccable net worth of $20 Million.
Lessons from the Life of Mary J Blige
Gender Is No Limitation
Gender is no limitation when success is involved. Though Mary J. Blige is a woman, and at the time, women weren’t seen as much, through dedication, hard work, and genuine talent, she passed through all hurdles she faced.
Eventually, her achievements became much more recognized than most men in the industry.
Our Circumstances Do Not Define Us.
“I didn’t dream big or think for a moment that it was like, ‘OK, I’m going to be this big star,’ because our environment didn’t tell us that. Our environment told us that this was it.” ~ Mary J. Blige
Blige, in the beginning, didn’t think that her dreams could someday be a reality because she was too focused on her current situation.
However, her life is a clear example that proves circumstances do not define our success in life.