Mary Memories

Mary Mary Mary!

Today is Mary J. Blige’s birthday, and I have many memories of Mary over the years.  Like Whitney, she is the musical voice of my generation, ever since she came on the scene singing backup for Father MC (do you know him?) on his song, I’ll Do 4 U.

There’s so many memories that come to mind when I think about her first few albums, especially My Life. I was dating my first boyfriend at the time (1994/5). But the funniest memory was in the 9th grade. A boy cousin of one of my friends liked me, but I didn’t like him. She could barely contain her laughter one day at our lockers when she passed me a cassette tape of What’s the 411? (which I already had).  “He said to listen to these songs and you’ll see exactly how he feels about you.”  What the ???

As a sophomore in college, I dyed my hair blonde in the early 90’s, not realizing she, Faith and many others used weave to get that perfect platinum look. That same year, 1995, I saw her perform during the Bad Boy tour with Biggie, Faith, Total, Craig Mack, and Puffy.

Whenever people ask Mary what her favorite song of her is, I have to agree. My fave song of hers is Love No Limit.  However, to be fair, my “unfave” song of her is when she covered Soul II Soul’s Back to Life.  She’s done many great covers over the years but that was just not one of them IMO, especially when she tried to reach the same notes as Caron Wheeler in the original–it didn’t work. I also did not care for her albums No Drama nor Love and Life overall. To me, although she has hits no matter what, her first few albums were her best by far.

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She’s come a long way, from domestic, sexual and drug abuse to be an empowered example of what it means to be a strong woman in the 21st century. There’s always a test before you have a testimony, and she’s using hers for good.
Happy birthday Mary!
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