Reflecting on her tribulations, 44-year-old entertainer owned up to her accountability for all the turmoil that ranged from a major backlash for appearing in a Burger King commercial singing about “crispy chicken” to stories about financial impropriety on the part of her philanthropy to being evicted from her condominium.
“It was a disastrous,” Blige told Karu Daniels. “And a lot of it came from not paying attention; a lot of it came from just trusting the wrong people. And it was a wake up call, it was a huge humongous wake up call for me to say ‘Look, you don’t need any of these people around and I’m going to make sure that you see how fast they run when this happens.’ And it was just the biggest wake up call ever.”
While the drama did take its toll on the singer, Blige admits that it has all made her stronger than ever.
“I’m grateful for it though and it hurt like hell because it was public and it all over and I was like ‘good Lord.’ It was very, very painful because back in the day, I’ve been through hell but with today’s social media and the news and it was something so big and disastrous it had to be for something good,” she stated.
“…And when you see the amount of it, you get to see exactly who you are. And it’s how you respond to it or react. And what I learned is that I really respond well because I don’t pay it any mind but the fact is that a lot of it hurt. But at the end of the day, you wont know it hurts. So, I just learned my strength in that. I learned my weaknesses and it’s a whole other level from back in the days. I’m somewhere else in my life. It’s a whole other strength that I learned that I had.”
“I’ve always heard the term “strong woman” and ‘Oh yeah, she’s a strong woman’ and that’s what people thought. But now, I think it and I believe it!”
Blige’s comments come amid the premiere of “The London Sessions” at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, which kicked off this week in in New York City. The Sam Wrench-directed 45-minute black and white film, which shares the same name as Blige’s latest album, follows the vocalist for 10 days as she records her 13th album in London with some of Britain’s hottest artists, including Sam Smith, Disclosure, Emeli Sandé, Naughty Boy and Sam Romans.
“Man, it was my first time and it was just amazing. Just the fact that my documentary was shown here and I was just not here as entertainment but a person that contributed to the film festival with a film means so much to me,” Blige shared with Daniels. “The feeling of it all was just unreal,” Blige continued, adding that the project — which follows her journey in tapping into a new sound for her latest album, also entitled ‘The London Sessions’ like the film — was a great way to reconnect with her fans. By doing this, it means my fans can understand why I even did everything in the first place.”
For more of Mary J. Blige’s interview with Karu Daniels at NBCNews.com, click here. To see “The London Sessions” documentary trailer, check out the video below: