Mary J. Blige
WebsiteMary J. Blige
The famously embattled queen of hip-hop soul, Mary J. Blige played a crucial role in uniting the now-inseparable worlds of rap and R&B. Like Billie Holiday, she knows how vulnerability can be a singer’s best friend: At times, her voice is so open and raw that listening becomes almost uncomfortably voyeuristic. 2009’s Stronger With Each Tear bubbled under on the charts, but the diva’s never dropped out of the picture. Blige performed at Obama’s inauguration, the 2009 World Series, and was all over both Idol Gives Back and the Haiti fundraising efforts. Blige just released her brand-new 10th album, My Life II... The Journey Continues (Act 1)—a sequel to her sophomore release My Life—which features guest spots from Swizz Beatz, Nas, Busta Rhymes, Drake, Rick Ross, and Beyonce.