Mary J. Blige

Biography: Mary J. Blige has earned the title "The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul" because of her raw gospel and R&B influenced vocals and delivery. By 2007, she had won six Grammy awards. Her voice and performances convey the anger, pain, and dysfunction of her childhood and early adult life. Blige has not lost that soul or grittiness as her career and personal life became more successful and happier.

Blige released her debut album, "What's the 411" in 1992 on the Uptown Records label. A young Sean "Puffy" Combs was influential in the content and sound of Blige's first release. It combined traditional R&B with the edginess of rap. The 1995 release, "My Life", was more successful than her first release because Blige and her producers found a less rap/more R&B combination which helped to define the "urban" music genre. "My Life" was a definitive autobiography of Blige's tumultuous romantic relationships and substance abuse.
Blige's next two releases, "Share My World" in 1997 and "Mary"
in 1999, captured her soulfulness, but illustrated her maturity. She performed songs by Elton John and Bernie Taupin and Stevie Wonder. "No More Drama" became an anthem for millions of Blige's fans when it debuted in 2001. This was a very personal album for Blige and she became a more sophisticated songwriter.

Combs returned to produce the 2003 "Love and Life" and some songs on the 2005 "The Breakthrough". Blige married Kendu Isaacs on December 7, 2003 and became a step-mother to three children. Isaacs is also her manager and she credits him with helping her acknowledge and stop her substance abuse. "The Breakthrough" contains Blige's powerful collaboration with U2 on their previous hit "One".

Blige released "Reflections - A Retrospective" in 2006 which contains some of her greatest hits and four new songs. "Growing Pains", her eighth album, was released in 2007 and the single "Work That" was featured in an iTunes commercial.

Blige has also appeared in TV shows and on the big screen. She was also featured in the VH1 documentary, "Soul Deep," which was aired during Black Music month in June 2007.

Mary J. Blige's Scores

Average career score: 71
Highest Metascore: 77 No More Drama
Lowest Metascore: 49 A Mary Christmas
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
8 music reviews
Title: Year: Credit: User score:
73 The London Sessions Dec 2, 2014 Primary Artist tbd
49 A Mary Christmas Oct 15, 2013 Primary Artist 10
72 My Life II...The Journey Continues (Act 1) Nov 21, 2011 Primary Artist 8.4
75 Stronger With Each Tear Dec 21, 2009 Primary Artist 7.7
77 Growing Pains Dec 18, 2007 Primary Artist 9.0
76 The Breakthrough Dec 20, 2005 Primary Artist 9.2
72 Love & Life Aug 26, 2003 Primary Artist 9.0
77 No More Drama Aug 28, 2001 Primary Artist 9.0