Everybody Loves The Sunshine by Roy Ayers Ubiquity inspired Mary J. Blige as a little girl. The lyrics go My Life, My Life, My Life, My Life, In The Sunshine. This gave Mary her first inspiration to understand her passion as an artist. Excelling in everything from singing to acting to philanthropy, she overcame a very violent upbringing in a rough neighborhood and killing it with tremendous success.
Raised by a single mom, she used to sing to Mary and danced like the different R&B artists in the sixties and seventies. Mary always knew there was another way, and like Martin Luther King, Jr., she had a dream. A dream for a better life. Mary explains the projects she grew up in as a prison, in a prison, in a prison, and expressing her pain through music became an outlet for her success. She used to go to the pier and drink excessively to cover up and mask the pain, even through world tours.
Her mother went through hell as a single woman, and singing made Mary forget that she was struggling. She held onto the strength of mother and used it in her own career. When singing as a young girl, she was never afraid. She was never shy. She always would sing in the mall, where in the 90’s were the place to hang out. Her stepfather heard the pain of a generation when she brought that tape she made from the mall. He had a friend from Uptown Records MCA and sent him her tape. He listened and came over to their house the next day to talk shop.
Soon Mary realized that life can only be what you make it. She needed to create herself to imagine her dreams. And she couldn’t count on anyone but herself to do it. Dependent on opportunities from the rough and tough music industry, she needed to be strong to survive in a world full of vultures.
Diddy, formerly known as Puff Daddy and Sean Combs, really helped Mary believe in herself more than she could alone. At that point Mary wanted to save her life and save her family, and her voice showed it. Diddy’s first wife designed all of Mary J. Blige’s outfits on and off stage.
Alicia Keys made a great point where she said that you could just be a girl with another dream and STILL CAN BE SPECIAL. In a world where women are waiting for permission to be themselves, Mary said that was okay.
Little Cedric of Jodeci gave Mary the confidence to be herself as her friend, co-singer and romantic partner, where Diddy gave her the confidence to be the great singer and songwriter she really was, until things got ugly.
Drugs and alcohol brought her down a deep hole. She wasn’t happy. She was touring, meeting stars, winning Emmy’s, and busy as ever, but never felt lower than low as she did. Money didn’t change the way she felt about herself. She was down on herself and it was hard to handle her success. Mary J. Blige didn’t trust anybody.
This was a fabulous film and documentary about the struggle of a young black female finding her voice and herself.
Rehabilitated, sober, and looking 20 years old again, she really was able to honestly reflect on her recovery and strength along with the people that got her though the fire.
Did you listen to Mary J. Blige when you were younger? If not, here are some links to her biggest and best songs around:
Here is a great mix tape on YouTube you can enjoy too:
Do you like Mary J.?
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