Singer Mary J. Blige performs on stage during the 20th annual Nobel Peace Prize Concert at the Oslo Spektrum on December 11, 2013 in Oslo, Norway
*When Mary J. Blige recorded her album “My Life” in 1994, she was battling drugs, alcohol, clinical depression and dealing with an abusive relationship.
She’s the first to tell you, she was a mess.
“That album was very dark. I didn’t even want to live,” said the singer, whose album “A Mary Christmas” is in stores. “I wanted to die, but I didn’t want to die. I just wanted to numb myself. I didn’t appreciate life.”
Mary J. Blinge rides on a float during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade New York City. (Nov. 24, 2011)
*New material from Mary J. Blige is finally in stores.
Her 10th studio album, “My Life II… The Journey Continues (Act 1),” is a sequel to her second album “My Life,” which spawned six hit singles since its Nov. 28, 1994 debut ["Mary Jane (All Night Long),” “You Bring Me Joy,” “My Life,” “I’m Goin’ Down,” “I Love You” and “Be Happy”] and served as an unflinching, soul-bearing portrait of Blige’s tortured state of mind at the time.
When the singer recorded “My Life” in the fall of 93, she was dealing with clinical depression, battling both drugs and alcohol, and was deep into an abusive relationship with singer K-Ci Hailey of Jodeci.
The pain in her voice and her lyrics – backed by beats executive-produced by Diddy – resonated with an entire generation of fans and went on to stay atop Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart for eight consecutive weeks. It eventually became the most successful R&B album on the Billboard Year-End chart for 1995.
Mary says her current sequel, released on Nov. 21, is crafted to sound more like her first two albums than any of her recent material. “It’s more like a ‘What’s the 411?’ of 2012,” she said of “My Life II,” which features production from a variety of talents, including Danja, The Underdogs, Jim Jonsin and Darkchild.
Blige is no longer in the muddled, substance-fueled confusion that defined her first “My Life” album, but as the title declares, “the journey continues.”
Below, Blige reveals the single biggest lesson she’s learned in the 17 years between “My Life” I and II.
*Seventeen years after issuing sophomore album “My Life,” Mary J. Blige will release a sequel to the breakthrough disc this fall.
“My Life II, The Journey Continues,” the R&B star’s tenth studio album, is scheduled to drop on Sept. 20 and feature production from Kanye West, Danja, Swizz Beatz and Stargate, the singer announced Monday.
“From me to you, “My Life II” … our journey together continues in this life. It’s a gift to be able to relate and identify with my fans at all times,” says Blige, who recorded the album in New York and Los Angeles, according to Billboard. “This album is a reflection of the times and lives of people all around me.”
The album’s first single, “Someone to Love Me (Naked)” featuring Diddy and Lil Wayne, is currently at No. 66 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The music video for the track will officially premiere tonight on VEVO, but the clip already leaked online today. [Scroll down to watch.]
Released in 1994, “My Life” featured hit singles like “Be Happy” and “Mary Jane (All Night Long)” and was nominated for Best R&B Album at the Grammys. The album has sold 2.8 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
*Mary J. Blige has launched her new perfume under the title “My Life.” The fragrance has a nice feminine touch with ingredients including gardenia, freesia, pear, jasmine, and lily.
The soul singer has partnered with brand Carol’s Daughter to create the scent and was in Palm Beach to launch it at the Women’s Wear Daily Beauty CEO summit on May 11.
“It is the epitome of a confident woman. It doesn’t scream out for attention – it’s feminine but strong, powerful yet humble. It is… my life,” Blige said. “Creating my fragrance was very empowering. To put my name behind something I created means everything.”
“My Life” will be exclusively sold on the HSN.com for $46, with a $1 from each sale donated to the Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now.
My Life, a new fragrance, is named after Mary’s first hit, which she says led her to begin “speaking truths about my life, and everything around us.”
*A spokesperson for Mary J. Blige is denying new rumors that she has left her husband Kendu Isaacs and is filing for divorce.
Insisting the reports are untrue, her rep tells GossipCop.com the couple is “very happy” and was together Monday night at the Costume Institute’s Gala in New York City.
The denial comes in the wake of news (and video) of Blige smacking Isaacs last December during a night out in New York City, when she was alleged to have said “what are you going to do…. Chris Brown me?”
Meanwhile, Blige is set to launch her first fragrance, “My Life,” later this year. The singer was spotted filming a commercial for the scent in New York on April 29.