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If you have been a fan of Mary J Blige’s music for anytime during the 22 years since she released her first album, “What’s the 411,” you can tell that she has
changed evolved. She seems happier and not in such a dark place anymore. You can tell by the way that she dresses, carries herself and the fact that you can actually see her eyes, that she is indeed “A Grown Ass Woman.”
With her new album, “The London Sessions,” being released December 2nd, Mary gives some insight into the woman that she is today, motherhood, her marriage of 11 years to husband and manager, Kendu, her life after 40 and her 12th album to The Telegraph.
On her new album, “The London Sessions”:
The goal was to go over to London and do something really different, something people have never seen me do before…
Something really amazing is happening over in London. Genres are falling and people are borrowing from the past instead of throwing it away. Sam Smith [who wrote the track Therapy on the album, and with whom she recorded a duet of his hit Stay With Me] is like Frank Sinatra, Otis Redding and Sam Cooke rolled into one.
There’s a freedom of expression there that’s missing in America now. I didn’t feel constricted by what a label wanted, or have anyone giving me that chat in my ear. It felt like total freedom.
On that Summer in 2001 when she almost lost it all:
I guess my own voice – or God – spoke to me and said, ‘Haven’t you learnt anything? This is the moment where you see what you’re made of – get up.
And I did. I got up….
That was definitely the learning moment, the choice between life and death…I felt like it was over, and everybody was just running away. People I thought were friends were just dispersing. I could feel myself slipping away too. And I thought, ‘I don’t want to slip away because of alcohol and drugs and loneliness.’
I thought, ‘Don’t let people see you fold right now. You have to survive this because the world is watching.’
On the pact she made with her husband:
All females for me, all guys for him. There’s none of that, ‘Oh, that’s my female friend. Oh, that’s my guy friend.’ No. Not in a marriage, I’ve never seen that work. But being a wife has changed her in ways she didn’t expect. Being a single person and an artist, there’s a lot of selfishness that you don’t even know you have. Being a wife, it’s not all about me.
On having children:
I never was sitting around thinking, ‘Oh God, I want a baby.’ No.
On life now that she’s in her 40’s:
This is the best time in my life. I’m becoming freer, I’m accepting the things I can’t change and I’m not going to apologize for who I am. In my twenties, I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. I didn’t like the way I looked, I didn’t like me, and always played myself short to make everybody else happy.
If you are in your 40’s, like me, you have grown up with Mary and have witnessed her evolution. She has come a long way from the bagging pants, dark glasses and attitude of the 90’s and today, she is a woman who can be looked up to not only because of her talent but by the lesson that she learned and that many of us can learn, as well, and that is…love yourself.
Change the things you can change, accept the things you can’t, and get to a point where you’re satisfied with yourself.
Photo Credits: contactmusic.com, theamas.com, spin.com, soulbounce.com