Iconic Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, Oscar-nominated actress, producer and philanthropist, Mary J. Blige is a figure of inspiration, transformation and empowerment making her one of the defining voices of the contemporary music era. With a track record of eight multi-platinum albums, nine Grammy Awards (plus a staggering 32 nominations), two Academy Award nominations, two Golden Globe nominations, and a SAG nomination, among many other accolades, Blige has cemented herself as a global superstar. And in the ensuing years, the singer/songwriter has attracted an intensely loyal fan base—responsible for propelling worldwide sales of more than 50 million albums.
Influenced at an early age by the music of Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan and Gladys Knight, Blige brought her own gritty, urban-rooted style—fusing hip-hop, soul and honest, frank lyrics—to the forefront on her 1992 debut album What’s the 411? The multi-platinum set, executive produced by Sean “Diddy” Combs, quickly spun off several hits, including two No. R&B No. 1s: You Remind Me and Real Love. Blige helped redefine R&B and began forging a unique niche for herself on the more personal second album, 1994’s My Life. She is loved for her passionate, chart-topping hits like “Be Without You”, “No More Drama” and “Family Affair” all of which have made her a force in music.
Each subsequent album reads like a chapter from an autobiography: Share My World (1997), Mary (1999), No More Drama (2001), Love & Life (2003), the multiple Grammy-winning and hit-spewing The Breakthrough (2005), Growing Pains (2007), Stronger with Each Tear (2009), My Life II… The Journey Continues (2011), A Mary Christmas (2013) and The London Sessions (2014). Along the way, she’s lined up a string of hit singles, including Not Gon’ Cry, Love Is All We Need, Seven Days, All That I Can Say, Family Affair and Just Fine.
Blige released her 14th studio album Strength of a Woman in 2017. The first single, “Thick of It,” held the number 1 spot on the Urban AC Chart for 16 consecutive weeks after its release in November. Blige also scored her latest #1 single off this album with “U + Me (Love Lesson).”
In the summer of 2019, Blige was honored with the BET Lifetime Achievement award, and completed a U.S Summer tour with New York rapper Nas.
On the acting side, Blige starred as Florence Jackson in the 2017 Netflix breakout film Mudbound, to which she received critical acclaim including two Academy Award nominations for Best Support Actress and Best Original Song. She also starred in the Netflix series “The Umbrella Academy,” which premiered on the platform in February 2019.
In April 2020, Blige voiced “Queen Essence” in Dreamworks’ TROLLS WORLD TOUR movie, and starred in Paramount’s Body Cam, alongside Nat Wolff, that was released digitally this past May. Blige dropped a new single entitled “Can’t Be Life,” an original song for Body Cam that speaks candidly to the current times and is featured over the end credits of the film. Blige is currently starring in STARZ’s POWER BOOK II: GHOST, a new television series inspired by the original show, POWER, that premiered on the network in September 2020 and has been renewed for a second season.
Most recently, Blige wrote and performed a new song for the celebrated documentary Belly of the Beast entitled “See What You’ve Done.” The documentary, which was released in October 2020, uncovers illegal sterilizations in women’s prisons in the Department of Corrections in California and was filmed over a period of seven years.
On the producing side, Blige launched her production company, Blue Butterfly, and signed a first-look TV deal with Lionsgate. Blige most recently Executive Produced Lifetime’s The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel. The biopic marked the highest-rated original movie for Lifetime since 2016.
Blige has also entered the fashion and beauty realm with her jewelry line “Sister Love” with long-time friend Simone I. Smith and her “Love Me” lipstick line with MAC Cosmetics. Most recently, she launched her own wine collection, Sun Goddess Wines, in collaboration with the internationally prestigious Fantinel Winery. The collection currently includes two wines that are now available nationwide, an Italian Pinot Grigio Ramato and an Italian Sauvignon Blanc.
Next up, Blige will star as Dinah Washington in the Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect, alongside Jennifer Hudson coming out in August 2021. Blige is also working with Oscar-winning filmmaker Vanessa Roth and Amazon on an untitled documentary celebrating the 25th anniversary of her famed album My Life. Blige will not only be the subject of the documentary, where she will reflect on her nearly 30-year career within the music industry, but also as an Executive Producer through her own production company Blue Butterfly.