Mary J. Blige Evie-Jean Taylor Teague High School English

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The love for music is everywhere, but does the world really know the artists? Nicknamed, “The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul”, this non-mainstream artist has had a very rough path. Although Mary has had to fight to live, deal with abuse, and had access to drugs, none of this has stopped her to continue with her dreams. It’s not easy being Mary J. Blige because of how she has grown up and of all the mistakes she has made.

Mary J. Blige had a rough youth. Mary’s father, who was a professional jazz musician, abandoned her and her family when she was young . Her mother was a nurse who worked hard to support her indigent family . Her mother made Mary stronger than ever thought she could be. Mary saw her mother struggle to raise her family and feed them, and this made her want to become a stronger woman . Her family lived in a low-income apartment complex, and the neighborhood was overrun with drugs and crime, but that’s what made her tough. Mary Blige had once stated that growing up in the projects is like living in a barrel of crabs, if you try to get out, one of the other crabs will try to pull you back down. Mary and her sister had to be fierce to overcome their difficult journey. She would often get into fights over every little thing. 

Mary always had to prove herself to keep from getting robbed or jumped . In the end, she always kept her head held high. In addition, Mary did not apply herself in school even though she had the potential to be an excellent student . Mary also had to work a lot of part time jobs to help support her family and she decided that she would be a dropout from high school in the eleventh grade . However, she would frequently proclaim regret about her decision to quit high school. On the other hand, Mary did help her family financially by working hard. Mary Blige had often advise her fans to not make the same old mistakes she had made. “If I had to do it over, I would finish high school. For real,” she stated. “If I had the sense that I have now back then, I would be in college by now… education is important no matter what field you want to go in”. Mary had expressed that once you are visible, you have the responsibility of not only yourself, but of others too. You have the power to influence the children who adore you and aspire to be you. Even though she doesn’t try to be a role model, Mary really is one.

The genesis of Mary J. Blige’s career finally began. When Mary Blige was just seventeen, she made a tape of herself singing karaoke at a mall. It was only intended for entertaining her friends, but it lead up to her music career. Mary wasn’t looking for a music career because she was just playing around. Mary’s mother decided to pass the tape around to some people she knew and it eventually ended up with R&B vocalist, Jeff Redd . Then he gave it to a record company executive, Andre Harrell. He loved what he heard so he signed her to a recording contract with uptown records . Mary Blige was very much delighted with the achievement of her first album. Though she had struggled to manage her unforseen advancement to fame, Mary dealt with the pressure by drinking, smoking, and using drugs. “My mother raised me with respect, but the street raised me with disrespect. I’d be hanging out every night and getting high,” Mary stated. “I used to do it because I thought it would make me forget about things. It made me forget about it for the moment, but the next day, it was seven times worse because the reality is that everything I was trying to run away from was still there”. In that moment in time, she was miserable but she pushed forward in her career.

As Mary moved forward on her journey, she had decided that she needed to part with the people of who she felt were negative influences. That even included her former mentor, Sean Combs, and ex-boyfriend, Cedric Hailey. Since then, Mary had revealed that she had suffered both mental and physical abuse in that relationship. She realized that she had deserved more then that and took her ex boyfriend, drugs, and alcohol out of her life. She was determined to be a woman of God. Mary J. Blige rekindled her commitment to God and began to strive toward loving herself. She had a lot of people around her who were trying to hurt her, who were able to hurt her because she couldn’t see that she meant something . Now her family is more involved in her career. There is nothing but love surrounding her. She wouldn't allow anything else. Her lyrics began to reflect her spirituality and self-respect. Mary Blige lives in a home in Long Island, New York, sharing it with her sister and her sisters family. She doesn’t Like to live in a big house by herself. Though, she never has been married nor has children, she does have an ideal man in mind. 

“My ideal man does not have to have a whole bunch of money,” she noted. “He has to be secure. He has to be God fearing. He has to love his mother. And he has to respect all woman”. Now, Mary Blige has a commitment to God. She believes that because of her millions of fans and most importantly, her foundation in God, she continued to have tremendous favor in what has proven to be a fickle industry . Mary has taught about necessity of patience, commitment, and self-love with her songs. Mary states that she is now happy in her own skin. Mary Blige was happily married to her manager, Kendu Isaacs. Then, out of nowhere, they got divorced. That acrimonious break up has inspired Mary to write a song called Strength of a Woman. Blige's gorgeous but street-tough image has softened over time. She then forayed into acting making guest appearances and winning many awards in her business . In the end, it seems like everyone has their ups and downs no matter what their situation may be.

Like every role model, Mary Blige has a message. She aspires that her millions of fans understand her message about taking care of themselves and elude from drama, or undesired somatic and psychological agony. “I’d like people to be entertained, but I’d like them to her what I’m saying too,” she explains. “But if it doesn’t grab you right away, cool. Just dance to it. Just feel it until you are ready to hear what I have to say, and then whatever happens, will happen” . In summary, Mary J. Blige just wants everyone to feel the peace and love.

Mary J. Blige has had a rough life, but with God’s grace, she pushed through. She not only pulled herself out of drinking, drugs, and just a bad life to begin with, but she yearns to be a great christian to influence others. Mary hopes that through her music, she can help others through their pain. Mary J. Blige is just an overall classy role model who God has led to do many great things in her lifetime for herself and for others. 


  • Abbey, E. C. (2002). Biography Today: Volume 12. Detroit, MI.: Omnigraphics.
  • Mary J. Blige. (2018). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from
  • Parham, M. (2008, February 18). Queen of hip-hop soul: Mary J. Blige tells how her faith in God, herself keeps her on top. Jet, 113(6), 52+. Retrieved from     
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Mary J. Blige Evie-Jean Taylor Teague High School English. (2021, Oct 14). Retrieved July 20, 2024 , from

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