I can remember Mary J. Blige’s early years like yesterday; I was a middle school kid, and her pop/soul sound was HOT. You heard it from SWV, En Vogue, Jade, and so many others. But unlike those other groups and artists whose careers fell by the wayside, Mary J. has had one thing on her side: REINVENTION.
As Mary struggled with addiction and relationships in the late 90s, she took that pain and channeled it so well into her music. I’ve always believed that some of the best songwriting is achieved in some of the darkest moments. That’s such a bittersweet thing to say and think, because that means you almost WANT your favorite artists and songwriters to feel pain. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. But, it is that re-invention, re-birth, and restoration that is like a butterfly coming out a cocoon. It’s what Mary J. Blige experienced in the early 2000s with “No More Drama,” “Family Affair,” and so many other songs that turned her from a star into an ICON.
So Mary, we honor you today. We are sorry you’ve been through some of the trauma and the drama that has brought you strife. And yet, we are grateful that that drama has brought you to a higher consciousness, and your sharing of it has helped SO many.