Mary J. Blige
Mary Blige, Mary Jane Blige
Mary Jane Blige (b. Jan 11 1971) grew up in the projects of Yonkers, New York. A random decision to record a cover of “Caught Up in the Rapture” by Anita Baker in a pop-up recording booth at a mall led MJB to getting signed by Uptown Entertainment. After providing background vocals on Father MC’s hit single “I’ll Do 4 U” in 1990, a young intern at Uptown named Sean “Puffy” Combs ended up executive producing Mary’s 1992 debut album What’s The 411?. Fusing hip-hop beats with Mary’s soulful voice earned her the nickname “Queen of Hip-Hop Soul”.
She followed up her debut with a string of critically acclaimed albums, including 1994’s My Life and 1997’s Share My World, as well as hit singles such as “Not Gon' Cry,” “Family Affair,” “Be Without You,” and “Just Fine.”
She also collaborated with rappers on a number of tracks, including Jay-Z’s “Can’t Knock the Hustle,” Ghostface Killah’s “All That I Got is You,” Wyclef’s “911,” Common’s “Come Close,” and Method Man’s “I’ll Be There for You/All I Need to Get By,” which was a platinum hit and won the two of them a Grammy Award in 1996 for Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group.