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The Info List - Mary J. Blige


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Mary Jane Blige (/blaɪʒ/; born January 11, 1971) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. She has been honored with numerous accolades and nominations, including winning nine Grammy Awards, and being the recipient of three Golden Globe
Golden Globe
nominations including one for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Florence Jackson in Mudbound (2017), for which she also became the first woman to receive multiple Academy Award
Academy Award
nominations in the same year including for Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Song. She started her career as a backing singer on Uptown Records
Uptown Records
in 1989. In 1992, Blige released her first album, What's the 411?. She has released 13 studio albums, eight of which have achieved multi-platinum worldwide sales. Her album 1994 My Life is among Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time,[1] and Times All-Time 100 Albums.[2] She received a Legends Award at the World Music Awards in 2006, and the Voice of Music Award from performance rights organization ASCAP in 2007. As of 2013, Blige has sold 75 million records worldwide.[3] Billboard ranked Blige as the most successful female R&B/Hip-Hop artist of the past 25 years.[4] In 2017, Billboard magazine also lists her 2006 song "Be Without You" as the most successful R&B/Hip-Hop song of all time, as it spent an unparalleled 15 weeks atop the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and over 75 weeks on the chart.[5] In 2011, VH1
VH1
ranked Blige as the 80th greatest artist of all time.[6] ln 2012, VH1
VH1
ranked Blige at number 9 in "The 100 Greatest Women in Music" list.[7] Blige starred in the 2009 Tyler Perry box-office hit I Can Do Bad All By Myself and appeared in the film Rock of Ages (2012). She received a Golden Globe Award
Golden Globe Award
nomination for her musical contribution to the film The Help. In 2017, she appeared in the period-drama film Mudbound, directed by Dee Rees, for which she received nominations for the Academy Award
Academy Award
and Golden Globe Award
Golden Globe Award
for Best Supporting Actress, as well as Best Original Song nods in both award contests for the film's song "Mighty River".[8] In partnership with the Home Shopping Network
Home Shopping Network
(HSN) and Carol's Daughter, Blige released her "My Life" perfume. The perfume broke HSN records by selling 65,000 bottles during its premiere.[9] The scent went on to win two FiFi Awards, including the "Fragrance Sales Breakthrough" award.[10]

Contents

1 Life and career

1.1 1971–91: Early life and career beginnings 1.2 1992–96: What's the 411?
What's the 411?
and My Life 1.3 1997–2000: Share My World
Share My World
and Mary 1.4 2001–04: No More Drama
No More Drama
and Love & Life 1.5 2005–06: The Breakthrough
The Breakthrough
and Reflections – A Retrospective 1.6 2007–08: Growing Pains 1.7 2009–10: Stronger with Each Tear 1.8 2011–13: My Life II... The Journey Continues (Act 1)
My Life II... The Journey Continues (Act 1)
& A Mary Christmas 1.9 2014–present: The London Sessions
The London Sessions
and Strength of a Woman

2 Acting career 3 Personal life 4 Other ventures 5 Legacy 6 Discography 7 Tours 8 Filmography

8.1 Film 8.2 Television

9 See also 10 References 11 External links

Life and career[edit] 1971–91: Early life and career beginnings[edit] Blige was born on January 11, 1971, in New York City, New York in Brooklyn
Brooklyn
but grew up in Savannah, Georgia. She and her family moved back to New York and resided in the Schlobohm Housing Projects, located in Yonkers, New York.[11] She is the second of four children born to mother Cora, a nurse, and second to father Thomas Blige, a jazz musician,[12][13] The family subsisted on her mother's earnings as a nurse after her father left the family in the mid-1970s,[14] the former an alcoholic and the latter a Vietnam War
Vietnam War
veteran who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.[11] Blige spent her early years in Richmond Hill, Georgia, where she sang in a Pentecostal church.[15] Blige later moved to Schlobohm Houses in Yonkers, New York, immediately north of New York City, where she lived with her mother and older sister.[16] Blige dropped out of high school in her junior year.[16] Pursuing a musical career, Blige spent a short period of time in a Yonkers band named Pride with band drummer Eddie D'Aprile. In early 1988, she recorded an impromptu cover of Anita Baker's "Caught Up in the Rapture" at a recording booth in the Galleria Mall in White Plains, New York. Her mother's boyfriend at the time later played the cassette for Jeff Redd, a recording artist and A&R runner for Uptown Records.[12] Redd sent it to the president and CEO of the label, Andre Harrell. Harrell met with Blige and in 1989 she was signed to the label as a backing vocalist for artists such as Father MC,[17] becoming the company's youngest and first female artist.[15] 1992–96: What's the 411?
What's the 411?
and My Life[edit] After being signed to Uptown Records, Blige began working with record producer Puff Daddy.[18] He became the executive producer and produced a majority of the album.[19] The title, What's the 411?, derived from Blige's past occupation as a 4-1-1 operator;[20] it was also an indication by Blige of being the "real deal".[21] "What's the 411” nevertheless established Blige as a dynamic storyteller whose performances of love narrative drew upon both her musical influences and her lived experiences as a hip-hop-generation woman.[22] The music was described as "revelatory on a frequent basis".[16] Blige was noted for having a "tough girl persona and streetwise lyrics".[23] On July 28, 1992, Uptown/ MCA Records
MCA Records
released What's the 411?, to positive reviews from critics.[24] What's the 411?
What's the 411?
peaked at number six on the Billboard 200
Billboard 200
and topped the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.[25] It also peaked at number 53 on the UK Albums Chart.[26] It was certified three times Platinum by the RIAA.[27] According to Entertainment Weekly's Dave DiMartino, with the record's commercial success and Blige's "powerful, soulful voice and hip-hop attitude", she "solidly connected with an audience that has never seen a woman do new jack swing but loves it just the same".[28] According to Dave McAleer, Blige became the most successful new female R&B artist of 1992 in the United States.[29] What's the 411?
What's the 411?
earned her two Soul Train Music Awards in 1993: Best New R&B Artist and Best R&B Album, Female.[30] It was also voted the year's 30th best album in the Pazz & Jop—an annual poll of American critics nationwide, published by The Village Voice.[31] By August 2010, the album had sold 3,318,000 copies in the US.[32] What's the 411?
What's the 411?
has since been viewed by critics as one of the 1990s' most important records.[24] Blige's combination of vocals over a hip hop beat proved influential in contemporary R&B.[33] With the album, she was dubbed the reigning "Queen of Hip Hop Soul" The album's success spun off What's the 411?
What's the 411?
Remix, a remix album released in December that was used to extend the life of the What's the 411? singles on the radio into 1994, as Blige recorded her follow-up album. With combined sales of more than 5 million albums and singles from her debut album, Blige was the best selling female artist on the Uptown label.[34][35] Following the success of her debut album and a remixed version in 1993, Blige went into the recording studio in the winter of 1993 to record her second album, My Life.[36] The album was a breakthrough for Blige, who at this point was in a clinical depression, battling both drugs and alcohol- as well as being in an abusive relationship with K-Ci Hailey,[37] which was reported in several tabloids. On November 29, 1994, Uptown Records/ MCA Records
MCA Records
released Blige's second album, My Life, to positive reviews. The album debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200
Billboard 200
and number one of the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart for selling 481,000 copies in its first week and remaining atop the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart for an unprecedented eight weeks. It ultimately spent 46 weeks on the Billboard 200
Billboard 200
and 84 weeks on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. In 2002, My Life was ranked number 57 on Blender's list of the 100 greatest American albums of all time.[38] The following year, Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
placed it at number 279 on their 500 Greatest Albums of All Time,[39] and in 2006, the record was included in Time's 100 greatest albums of all time list.[40] Blige involved herself in several outside projects, recording a cover of Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" for the soundtrack to the FOX series New York Undercover, and "Everyday It Rains" (co-written by R&B singer Faith Evans) for the soundtrack to the hip hop documentary, The Show. Later in the year, she recorded the Babyface-penned and produced "Not Gon' Cry", for the soundtrack to the motion picture Waiting to Exhale. The platinum-selling single rose to number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs in early 1996. Blige gained her first two Grammy nominations, and won the Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for her collaboration with Method Man. Shortly after, Blige was featured on Jay Z's breakthrough single, "Can't Knock the Hustle" from his debut Reasonable Doubt (1996) and with Ghostface Killah
Ghostface Killah
on "All That I Got Is You" from his debut, Ironman, which was also released that year. In addition, Blige co-wrote four songs and was featured on two with fellow R&B singer Case on his self-titled debut album (1996) including the US top 20 hit, "Touch Me, Tease Me", which also featured a then up-and-coming female rapper Foxy Brown. 1997–2000: Share My World
Share My World
and Mary[edit] On April 22, 1997, MCA Records
MCA Records
(parent company to Uptown Records, which was in the process of being dismantled) released Blige's third album, Share My World. By then, she and Combs had dissolved their working relationship. In his place were the Trackmasters, who executive-produced the project along with Steve Stoute. Sharing production duties were producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, R. Kelly, Babyface and Rodney Jerkins. The album was made at a time when Blige was trying to "get her life together", by trying to overcome drugs and alcohol, as well as the ending of her relationship with Hailey. After an encounter with a person who threatened her life the previous year, she tried to quit the unhealthy lifestyle and make more upbeat, happier music. As a result, songs such as "Love Is All We Need" and "Share My World" were made. Share My World
Share My World
debuted at number one on the Billboard 200
Billboard 200
and spawned five hit singles: "Love Is All We Need" (featuring Nas), "I Can Love You" (featuring Lil' Kim), "Everything", "Missing You" (UK only) and "Seven Days" (featuring George Benson). The album became Blige's most commercially successful, selling three million copies in the U.S. In February 1997, Blige performed her hit at the time, "Not Gon' Cry", at the 1997 Grammy Awards, which gained her a third Grammy Award
Grammy Award
nomination, her first for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, as Blige was recording the follow-up to My Life. In early 1998, Blige won an American Music Award for "Favorite Soul/R&B Album". That summer, she embarked on the Share My World Tour, which resulted in a Gold-certified live album released later that year, simply titled The Tour. The album spawned one single, "Misty Blue". On August 17, 1999, Blige's fourth album, titled Mary was released. It marked a departure from her more familiar hip hop-oriented sound; this set featured a more earthy, whimsical, and adult contemporary-tinged collection of songs, reminiscent of 1970s to early 1980s soul. She also appeared on In Concert: A Benefit for the Crossroads Centre at Antigua
Antigua
with Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton
in 1999. On December 14, 1999, the album was re-released as a double-disc set. The second disc was enhanced with the music videos for the singles "All That I Can Say" and "Deep Inside" and included two bonus tracks: "Sincerity" (featuring Nas, Andy Hogan and DMX) and "Confrontation" (a collaboration with hip hop duo Funkmaster Flex
Funkmaster Flex
& Big Kap originally from their 1999 album The Tunnel). The Mary album was critically praised, becoming her most nominated release to date, and was certified double platinum (selling over two million in sales.) It was not as commercially successful as Blige's prior releases, though all of the singles: "All That I Can Say", "Deep Inside", "Your Child", and "Give Me You" performed considerably on radio. In the meantime, MCA used the album to expand Blige's demographic into the nightclub market, as club-friendly dance remixes of the Mary singles were released. The club remix of "Your Child" peaked at number-one on the Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play chart in October 2000. In 2001, a Japan-only compilation, Ballads, was released. The album featured covers of Stevie Wonder's "Overjoyed", and previous recordings of Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" and Dorothy Moore's "Misty Blue". In 1999, George Michael and Mary J. Blige
Mary J. Blige
covered the song 'As' written by Stevie Wonder, and worldwide outside of the United States, it was the second single from George Michael's greatest hits album Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael. It became a top ten UK pop hit, reaching number four on the chart. It was not released on the U.S. version of the greatest hits collection or as a single in the U.S. Michael cited Blige's record company president for pulling the track in America after Michael's arrest for committing a lewd act 2001–04: No More Drama
No More Drama
and Love & Life[edit]

Blige in Hamburg, Germany 2000

On August 28, 2001, MCA released Blige's fifth studio album, No More Drama. The album's first single, "Family Affair" (produced by Dr. Dre) became her first number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100, where it remained for six consecutive weeks. It was followed by two further hit singles, the European only single "Dance for Me" featuring Common with samples from "The Bed's Too Big Without You" by The Police, and the Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis-produced title track (originally recorded for the Mary album), which sampled "Nadia's Theme", the piano-driven theme song to the daytime drama The Young and the Restless. Though the album sold nearly two million copies in the U.S., MCA was underwhelmed by its sales, and subsequently repackaged and re-released the album on January 29, 2002. The No More Drama
No More Drama
re-release featured a new album cover, deleted three of the songs from the original track listing, while adding two brand-new songs—one of which was the fourth single and top twenty Hot 100 hit "Rainy Dayz", (featuring Ja Rule), plus two remixes; one of the title track, serviced by Puff Daddy and the single version of "Dance for Me" featuring Common. The album sold another million-plus units (3.2 million in total) in the U.S. and seven million worldwide. Blige won a Grammy for 'Best Female R&B Vocal Performance' for the song "He Think I Don't Know." In April 2002, Blige performed with Shakira
Shakira
with the song "Love Is a Battlefield" on VH1
VH1
Divas show live in Las Vegas, she also performed "No More Drama" and "Rainy Dayz" as a duet with the returning Whitney Houston. On July 22, 2002, MCA released Dance for Me, a collection of club remixes of some of her past top hits including the Junior Vasquez remix of "Your Child", and the Thunderpuss mix of "No More Drama." This album was released in a limited edition double pack 12" vinyl for DJ-friendly play in nightclubs. On August 26, 2003, Blige's sixth album Love & Life was released on Geffen Records (which had absorbed MCA Records.) Blige heavily collaborated with her one-time producer Sean Combs
Sean Combs
for this set. Due to the history between them on What's the 411?
What's the 411?
and My Life, which is generally regarded as their best work, and Blige having just come off of a successful fifth album, expectations were high for the reunion effort. Despite the album debuting at number one on the Billboard 200
Billboard 200
and becoming Blige's fourth consecutive UK top ten album, Love & Life's lead-off single, the Diddy-produced "Love @ 1st Sight", which featured Method Man, barely cracked the top ten on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, while altogether missing the top twenty on the Hot 100 (although peaking inside the UK top twenty). The following singles, "Ooh!", "Not Today" featuring Eve, "Whenever I Say Your Name" featuring Sting on the international re-release, and "It's a Wrap" fared worse. Although the album was certified platinum, it became Blige's lowest-selling to date. Critics and fans alike largely panned the disc, citing a lack of consistency and noticeable ploys to recapture the early Blige/Combs glory. Blige and Combs reportedly struggled and clashed during the making of this album, and again parted ways upon the completion of it. The album became Blige's first album in six years to debut at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 285,298 copies in first week.[41] Love & Life received mixed reviews from music critics.[42] AllMusic gave it 4 stars and said the album "beamed with joy" and Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
gave it three stars, saying "You may not always love Blige's music, but you will feel her". The album was eventually certified Platinum by the RIAA. To date the album has sold over 1,000,000 copies in the US[43] and over 2,000,000 copies worldwide.[44] The album was nominated for the Best Contemporary R&B Album at the 46th Grammy Awards. 2005–06: The Breakthrough
The Breakthrough
and Reflections – A Retrospective[edit] Geffen Records released Blige's seventh studio album, The Breakthrough on December 20, 2005. For the album, Blige collaborated with J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Rodney Jerkins, will.i.am, Bryan-Michael Cox, 9th Wonder, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Raphael Saadiq, Cool and Dre, and Dre & Vidal. The cover art was photographed by Markus Klinko & Indrani. It debuted at number one on both the Billboard 200
Billboard 200
and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. Selling 727,000 copies in its first week, it became the biggest first-week sales for an R&B solo female artist in SoundScan history,[45][46] the fifth largest first-week sales for a female artist, and the fourth largest debut of 2005. Since its release, The Breakthrough
The Breakthrough
has sold over three million copies in the U.S and over seven million copies worldwide, becoming one of the five best-selling albums of 2006. The lead-off single, "Be Without You", peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100, while peaking at number one on the R&B chart for a record-setting fifteen consecutive weeks; it remained on the chart for over sixteen months. "Be Without You" found success in the UK (peaking in the lower end of the top forty) it became Blige's longest charting single on the UK Singles Chart. It is her second longest charting single to date. The album produced three more singles including two more top five R&B hits—"Enough Cryin'", which features Blige's alter ego Brook-Lynn (as whom she appeared on the remix to Busta Rhymes's "Touch It" in 2006); and "Take Me as I Am" (which samples Lonnie Liston Smith's "A Garden of Peace"). Blige's duet with U2 on the cover of their 1992 hit, "One" gave Blige her biggest hit to date in the UK, peaking at number two on the UK Singles Chart eventually being certified one of the forty highest-selling singles of 2006;[47] it was her longest charting UK single. The success of The Breakthrough
The Breakthrough
won Blige nine Billboard Music Awards, two American Music Awards, two BET
BET
Awards, two NAACP Image Awards, and a Soul Train Award. She received eight Grammy Award
Grammy Award
nominations at the 2007 Grammy Awards, the most of any artist that year. "Be Without You" was nominated for both "Record of the Year" and "Song of the Year". Blige won three: "Best Female R&B Vocal Performance", "Best R&B Song" (both for "Be Without You"), and "Best R&B Album" for The Breakthrough.[48] Blige completed a season sweep of the "big three" major music awards, having won two American Music Awards
American Music Awards
in November 2006[49] and nine Billboard Music Awards
Billboard Music Awards
in December 2006.[50] In December 2006, a compilation called Reflections (A Retrospective) was released. It contained many of Blige's greatest hits and four new songs, including the worldwide lead single "We Ride (I See the Future)". In the UK, however, "MJB da MVP" (which appeared in a different, shorter form on The Breakthrough) was released as the lead single from the collection. The album peaked at number nine in the U.S, selling over 170,000 copies in its first week, while reaching number forty in the UK. It has sold more than 1.6 million copies. In 2006, Blige recorded a duet with rapper Ludacris, "Runaway Love", which is the third single on his fifth album, Release Therapy. It reached the top five on the Billboard Hot 100 and the R&B chart. Blige was featured with Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin
and The Harlem Boys Choir on the soundtrack to the 2006 motion picture Bobby, on the lead track "Never Gonna Break My Faith" written by Bryan Adams. The song was nominated for a Golden Globe
Golden Globe
and won the Grammy Award
Grammy Award
for Best Gospel Performance at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards. 2007–08: Growing Pains[edit]

Blige performing in July 2007.

Blige's eighth studio album, Growing Pains, was released on December 18, 2007, debuting at number two on the Billboard 200 and at number one on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. It sold 629,000 copies in its first week, marking the third time since Nielsen SoundScan began collecting data in 1991 that two albums sold more than 600,000 copies in a week in the United States. In its second week, the album climbed to number one, making it Blige's fourth number-one album. The lead single, "Just Fine", peaked at number twenty-two on the Billboard Hot 100 and at number three on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. "Just Fine" was nominated for the Grammy Award for "Best Female R&B Vocal Performance", and Blige won "Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals" for the Chaka Khan duet "Disrespectful" (featured on Khan's album Funk This) which Blige wrote. Growing Pains was not released in the UK until February 2008, where it became Blige's fifth top ten and third-highest charting album.The Breakthrough and Reflections (A Retrospective)
Reflections (A Retrospective)
were released in the Christmas rush and therefore settled for lower peaks, although both selling more than her top five album Mary.[citation needed] "Just Fine" returned Blige to the UK singles chart top 20 after her previous two singles failed to chart highly. Subsequent singles from Growing Pains include "Work That", which accompanied Blige in an iTunes commercial, and "Stay Down". Blige was featured on 50 Cent's 2007 album, Curtis, in the song "All of Me". In March 2008, she toured with Jay-Z
Jay-Z
in the Heart of the City Tour. They released a song called "You're Welcome". In the same period, cable network BET
BET
aired a special on Blige entitled The Evolution of Mary J. Blige, which showcased her career. Celebrities such as Method Man
Method Man
and Ashanti gave their opinions about Blige and her music. Blige is featured on singles by Big Boi, and Musiq Soulchild. Growing Pains was nominated for and won the Grammy Award
Grammy Award
for "Best Contemporary R&B Album", at the 51st Grammy Awards
Grammy Awards
held on February 8, 2009, earning Blige her 27th Grammy nomination, in a mere decade. Blige went on the Growing Pains European Tour, her first tour there in two years. A tour of Australia and New Zealand was scheduled for June but was postponed due to "weariness from an overwhelming tour schedule"[51] and then eventually canceled entirely.[52] On August 7, 2008, it was revealed Blige faced a US$2 million federal suit claiming Neff-U wrote the music for the song "Work That", but was owned by Dream Family Entertainment. The filing claimed that Dream Family never gave rights to use the song to Blige, Feemster or Geffen Records. Rights to the lyrics of the song used in an iPod commercial are not in question.[53] 2009–10: Stronger with Each Tear[edit] Blige returned to performing in January 2009 by performing the song "Lean on Me" at the Presidential Inauguration Committee's, "We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial". Blige also performed her hit 2007 single, "Just Fine", with a new intro at the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball after Barack Obama
Barack Obama
was sworn in on January 20, 2009. Blige appeared as a marquee performer on the annual Christmas in Washington television special.

Blige performing at Bumbershoot in September 2010.

Blige's ninth studio album, Stronger with Each Tear, was released on December 21, 2009, debuting at number two on the Billboard 200
Billboard 200
and at number one on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, selling 332,000 units in its first week of release. It became her fifth album not to take the top spot in the United States. The lead single, "The One", which features Canadian rapper Drake,[54] was released for airplay in June 2009, and was officially and digitally released in July 2009, peaking at number 63 on the Hot 100. Blige recorded "Stronger", as the lead single from the soundtrack to the basketball documentary "More than a Game" in August 2009. The second single from Stronger with Each Tear, "I Am", was released in December 2009 and reached number fifty-five on the Hot 100. The third international single from the album, "Each Tear", was remixed with different featured artists from different countries, then being released in February 2010. The single failed to chart anywhere except in the UK where it reached number one-hundred-eighty-three and in Italy where it reached number one. The album's third U.S. single, "We Got Hood Love" featuring Trey Songz, was released in March 2010 and reached number twenty-five on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart though it failed to reach the Hot 100.[55] One of Blige's representatives reported to Us Weekly
Us Weekly
magazine that a tour in support of Stronger with Each Tear
Stronger with Each Tear
will begin in the fall of 2010.[56] On March 2010, Blige released Stronger with Each Tear in the United Kingdom, as well as in the European markets. The album performed modestly in the United Kingdom, debuting at number thirty-three on the UK Albums Chart
UK Albums Chart
and at number four on the UK R&B Chart. It reached the top 100 in other countries. Blige was honored at the 2009 BET
BET
Honors Ceremony and was paid tribute by Anita Baker
Anita Baker
and Monica. On November 4, 2009, Blige sang The Star-Spangled Banner at Yankee Stadium
Yankee Stadium
before the New York Yankees
New York Yankees
and Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies
played the last game (game 6) of the World Series. Blige performed two songs from her ninth album as well as her previous hits, "No More Drama" and "Be Without You" along with the song "Color", which was featured on the Precious soundtrack. Blige appeared as a guest judge on the ninth season of American Idol
American Idol
on January 13, 2010. On January 23, 2010, Blige released a track "Hard Times Come Again No More" with The Roots as well as performing it at the Hope for Haiti Now telethon. At the 2010 Grammy Awards, Blige and Andrea Bocelli performed" Bridge over Troubled Water". Blige also performed on BET's SOS Help For Haiti, singing "Gonna Make It" with Jazmine Sullivan and "One." Blige also took part in February 2010's We Are the World
We Are the World
25 for Haiti, singing the solo originally sung by Tina Turner
Tina Turner
in the original 1985 We Are the World
We Are the World
version. At the 41st NAACP Image Awards Blige won Outstanding Female Artist and Outstanding Album for Stronger with Each Tear.[57] On November 18, 2010, Billboard revealed Mary J. Blige as the most successful female R&B/Hip Hop Artist on the Top 50 R&B/Hip Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years list. Mary came in at number 2 overall.[58] 2011–13: My Life II... The Journey Continues (Act 1)
My Life II... The Journey Continues (Act 1)
& A Mary Christmas[edit]

Blige onstage at the Raggamuffin Festival in Sydney, Australia in January 2011.

In January 2011, Hot 97 premiered Blige's teaster track "Someone to Love Me (Naked)" featuring vocals by Lil Wayne.[59] In July 2011, Blige released the song "The Living Proof" as the lead single to the soundtrack of the film The Help.[60] On July 24, VH1
VH1
premiered their third Behind the Music that profiled her personal and career life. In August 2011, Blige released her first single off the album, "25/8". Blige's tenth studio album, My Life II... The Journey Continues (Act 1), was released in November 2011.[61] The album, primarily recorded in Los Angeles
Los Angeles
and New York City, saw Blige looking toward the future while acknowledging the past. "From me to you, My Life II... Our journey together continues in this life," the singer explained. "It’s a gift to be able to relate and identify with my fans at all times. This album is a reflection of the times and lives of people all around me." The album feature production from Kanye West
Kanye West
and The Underdogs, among others.[62] The second single "Mr. Wrong" featuring Canadian rapper Drake was the most successful single from the album, peaking at number 10 on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The rest of songs released, including lead single "25/8" achieved only moderate success, peaking within the top 40 on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The album itself debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200, selling 156,000 copies first week; it was eventually certified Gold in 2012 and has sold 763,000 in the US.[63] On February 28, 2012, Blige performed "Star Spangled Banner" at the 2012 NBA All-Star Game. Blige appeared as guest mentor on American Idol on March 7, 2012, and performed "Why" on the results show the following night.[64] On September 23, 2012, Blige was a performer at the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Las Vegas. Blige was featured on the song "Now or Never" from Kendrick Lamar's album Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, released on October 22, 2012. In early 2013, reports surfaced that Blige was recording a Christmas album. The album, titled, A Mary Christmas
A Mary Christmas
was released on October 15, 2013 through Matriarch and Verve Records, her first release with the latter. The album includes collaborations with Barbra Streisand, The Clark Sisters, Marc Anthony
Marc Anthony
and Jessie J. In early December, A Mary Christmas became Blige's 12th top ten album after it rose to #10 in its eight week.[65] On October 23, 2013, Blige sang the national anthem before Game 1 of the 2013 World Series.[66] 2014–present: The London Sessions
The London Sessions
and Strength of a Woman[edit] On February 5, 2014 a remix of Disclosure's "F for You" featuring guest vocals from Mary was released.[67] It was announced May 30, 2014 that Think Like a Man Too (Music from and Inspired by the Film), released June 17 on Epic Records, would introduce new songs by Mary J. Blige, including the single "Suitcase".[68] Blige recorded a collection of music from and inspired by the film. In the United States, Think Like a Man Too debuted at number 30 on the Billboard 200, with 8,688 copies sold in its first week, becoming the lowest sales debut of any of her studio albums.[69] On Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop chart, the soundtrack album charted at number six, marking Blige's 16th top ten entry on the chart, tying her with Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey
for the second-most top tens by a female artist.[69] June 2, 2014 saw Blige pairing up with another English musician with the release of a re-worked version of Sam Smith's "Stay with Me". A live visual to the song was released on the same day.[70] Following her concert date at the Essence Festival, on July 9, 2014 it was announced Blige would move to London to experiment with a new sound for her new album.[71] Blige spent a month in London recording her album in RAK Studios
RAK Studios
with a host of young British acts, including Disclosure, Naughty Boy, Emeli Sandé
Emeli Sandé
and Sam Smith. Ten new songs, co-written and recorded by the singer, was released on November 24, 2014 on an album entitled, The London Sessions.[72] That same month, she announced that she left Geffen and Interscope and signed with Capitol Records. In August 2016, Blige was recruited to perform the new theme song for the ABC Daytime talk show The View for its twentieth season titled "World's Gone Crazy" written by Diane Warren. A music video was also shot for the new theme song. Blige also appeared on The View alongside Maxwell during its premiere week on September 9, 2016 to discuss their joint tour and theme song. On September 30, 2016, Blige premiered a new show The 411 on Apple Music. For its debut episode, Blige interviewed Hillary Clinton. A trailer was released online with Blige singing a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "American Skin" to a bewildered Clinton. The exchange received mixed and negative reaction from social media. Two weeks later, a studio version, this time featuring a verse from American rapper Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar
was released online. Following her highly publicized divorce from Kendu Issacs, Blige released two songs within October, "Thick of It" and "U + Me (Love Lesson)". On April 28, 2017, her thirteenth studio album, Strength of a Woman, was released.[73] It peaked at number three on the Billboard 200, number two on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and toppled the R&B Albums chart.[74] Acting career[edit] In 1998, Blige made her acting debut on the sitcom The Jamie Foxx Show playing a character, the apparently southern Ola Mae; a preacher's daughter who wanted to sing more than gospel music. Her father was portrayed by Ronald Isley of The Isley Brothers. In 2001, Blige starred opposite rapper Q-Tip in the independent film Prison Song. That same year, Blige made a cameo on the Lifetime network series, Strong Medicine; playing the role of Simone Fellows. Blige's character was the lead singer of a band who was sick, but would not seek treatment. In 2000, Blige was featured in a superhero web cartoon in junction with Stan Lee. Blige used the cartoon as part of her performance while on her 2000 Mary Show Tour. In 2004, Blige starred in an Off-Broadway play, The Exonerated. The play chronicled the experiences of death row inmates. Blige portrayed Sunny Jacobs, a woman who spent 20 years in prison for a crime she did not commit. In late 2005, it was reported that Blige landed the starring role in the upcoming MTV Films
MTV Films
biopic on American singer/pianist and civil rights activist, Nina Simone. By spring of 2010, Blige was slated to star as Simone with British actor David Oyelowo
David Oyelowo
portraying her manager Clifton Henderson. Blige later dropped out of the role due to financial issues and the role was subsequently recast with Dominican American
Dominican American
actress Zoe Saldana
Zoe Saldana
as Simone in Nina, released in 2016. In February 2007, Blige guest-starred on Ghost Whisperer, in an episode called "Mean Ghost", as the character Jackie Boyd, the school's cheer leader coach grieving for the death of her brother and affected by the ghost of a dead cheerleader. The episode features many of Blige's songs. In August 2007, Blige was a guest star on Entourage, in the role of herself, as a client of Ari Gold's agency. In October 2007, Blige was also a guest star on America's Next Top Model, as a creative director for a photo shoot by Matthew Rolston. In May 2009, Mary made a guest appearance on 30 Rock, as an artist recording a benefit song for a kidney. Blige also had a supporting role in Tyler Perry's movie I Can Do Bad All by Myself, which was released in September 2009. Blige starred alongside Tom Cruise, Julianne Hough, and Alec Baldwin in the film adaptation of the 1980s jukebox hit musical Rock of Ages. Blige played Justice Charlier, the owner of a Sunset Strip gentlemen's club. Production began in May 2011 and the film was released in June 2012. Blige starred in the Lifetime movie Betty and Coretta alongside Angela Bassett, Malik Yoba
Malik Yoba
and Lindsay Owen Pierre. She played Dr. Betty Shabazz, the widow of Malcolm X. The film premiered in February 2013. In December 2015, she portrayed Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West in NBC's The Wiz Live!.[75] In October 2016, Blige guest-starred on ABC's How to Get Away with Murder
How to Get Away with Murder
as an old acquaintance of Annalise Keating played by American actress Viola Davis. In 2017, Blige starred in the period drama film Mudbound directed by Dee Rees. Playing Florence Jackson, the matriarch of her family,[76] she received praise such as Variety's review: "Mary J. Blige, as the mother of the Jackson family, gives a transformative performance that will elevate the acting career of the R&B star."[77] For her performance in Mudbound, Blige was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress, the Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Supporting Actress, the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. As she was nominated for the Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Original Song (with Taura Stinson and Raphael Saadiq) for the film as well as the Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Supporting Actress, she became the first person nominated for an Academy Award for acting and writing an original song in the same year.[78][79] Her nomination also made Dee Rees
Dee Rees
the first black woman to direct a film for which an actor or actress was nominated for an Academy Award.[80][81] Personal life[edit] Blige married her manager, Martin "Kendu" Isaacs, on December 7, 2003.[82] At the time, Isaacs had two children, Nas
Nas
and Jordan, with his first wife, and an older daughter, Briana, from a teenage relationship.[83] In July 2016, Blige filed for divorce, citing "irreconcilable differences".[84] Other ventures[edit] In 2004, Blige launched her own record label, Matriarch Records, distributed through Interscope, and in mid-2012, discovered girl group Just'Us, making the group the first ladies of the label. Blige says "These are my little Mary’s; they each remind me of myself at different points in my life." Blige has been reported to be working with Just'Us on their debut album.[85] In July 2010, Blige launched her first perfume, My Life (through Carol's Daughter), exclusively on HSN.[86] The fragrance's success broke sales records in hours[87] and has been awarded two prestigious FIFI awards from the Fragrance Foundation.[88] The newest fragrance, My Life Blossom launched in August 2011 exclusively to HSN. In October 2010 Blige released a line of sunglasses called "Melodies by MJB". The first Melodies collection featured four styles with a total of 20 color options. Each style represented a specific facet of Blige’s life. Essence magazine reported that in the spring of 2011, "Melodies by MJB" extended their collection to offer more styles.[89][90] Blige's production company, along with William Morris Endeavor is also working on several TV and film projects.[91] Blige has had endorsement contracts with Reebok, Air Jordan, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Gap, Target, American Express, AT&T Inc., M·A·C, Apple Inc., Burger King
Burger King
and Chevrolet.[92] She has also been a spokesperson with Carol's Daughter beauty products and Citibank's with Nickelback
Nickelback
program. Blige opened her Apple Music
Apple Music
Show "The 411" on September 30.[93] Legacy[edit] Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Mary J. Blige Called the "Queen of hip-hop soul", Blige is credited with influencing the musical marriage of hip hop and R&B.[94] Ethan Brown of The New Yorker says that albums "What's the 411?" and "My Life", in hindsight, invented "the sample-heavy sound that reinvigorated urban radio and became a blueprint for nineties hip-hop and R&B.".[95] Brown further concludes that Mary's "duets with the Wu-Tang Clan's Method Man
Method Man
and Ghostface Killah
Ghostface Killah
set the trend for collaborations between rappers and R&B songbirds like Mariah Carey.".[95] Tom Horan of The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph
comments that Blige, being a hugely influential figure in popular music, "invented what is now called R&B by successfully combining female vocals with muscular hip hop rhythm tracks. All over the world, that recipe dominates today's charts.".[96] Called one of the "most explosive, coming-out displays of pure singing prowess"[97] and "one of the most important albums of the nineties",[98] What's the 411?
What's the 411?
saw Blige pioneer "the movement that would later become neo soul, generating gripping songs that were also massive radio hits.".[99] African American scholars have noted the implications of Blige's presentation and representation of black womanhood and femininity in the typically male-dominated and centric sphere of hip hop. Blending the vocal techniques of rapping in hip hop with aspirational messages in R&B, Blige is credited to articulating black women's experiences in a "more factual and objective"[100] manner than typical stereotypes and tropes of black women in the media. Using her personal experiences and struggles with her family as source material for her songs, Blige refutes notions of black female hypersexuality by "imploring women to love and empower themselves through both autonomy and intimacy."[101] This desire for love does more than connect to her audience members. With particular attention on her single "Real Love," critics note how the song is "a performative text, declaratively demand[ing] recognition of Blige’s full humanity and, more broadly, that of hip-hop-generation women."[101] Blige has received notable awards and achievements. In 2010, she was ranked 80th on VH1's list of the 100 Greatest Artist of All Time.[102] Blige was listed as one of the 50 most influential R&B singers by Essence.[103] Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
magazine ranked My Life at number 279 on its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.[39] The album was also included on Time's list of the 100 Greatest albums of All Time.[40] Alternately called the "Queen of R&B" for her success in the realm of R&B, Blige has amassed ten number one albums on the R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart .[58] Blige is also the only artist to have won Grammys in the R&B, hip hop, pop, and gospel fields. As an actress, Blige received the Breakthrough Performance Award at the 2018 Palm Springs International Film Festival for her role in Mudbound. Discography[edit] Main article: Mary J. Blige
Mary J. Blige
discography

What's the 411?
What's the 411?
(1992) My Life (1994) Share My World
Share My World
(1997) Mary (1999) No More Drama
No More Drama
(2001) Love & Life (2003) The Breakthrough
The Breakthrough
(2005) Growing Pains (2007) Stronger with Each Tear
Stronger with Each Tear
(2009) My Life II... The Journey Continues (Act 1)
My Life II... The Journey Continues (Act 1)
(2011) A Mary Christmas
A Mary Christmas
(2013) The London Sessions
The London Sessions
(2014) Strength of a Woman (2017)

Tours[edit]

Share My World
Share My World
Tour (1997–98) The Mary Show Tour (2000) No More Drama
No More Drama
Tour (2002) Love & Life Tour (2004) The Breakthrough
The Breakthrough
Experience Tour (2006) Heart of the City Tour
Heart of the City Tour
(2008) Growing Pains European Tour (2008) Love Soul Tour (2008) Music Saved My Life Tour (2010–11) The Liberation Tour (2012–13) The London Sessions Tour
The London Sessions Tour
(2015) King and Queen of Hearts World Tour (2016) Strength of a Woman World Tour (2017)

Filmography[edit] Main article: Mary J. Blige
Mary J. Blige
videography Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes

2001 Prison Song Mrs. Butler Film debut

2009 I Can Do Bad All By Myself Tanya

2012 Rock of Ages Justice Charlier

2013 Black Nativity Platinum Fro Nominated — American Black Film Festival Award for Best Ensemble Cast

2017 Mudbound Florence Jackson Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Ensemble Performance New York Film Critics Online for Best Ensemble Cast IndieWire Critic's Poll Award for Best Breakthrough Performance (Film)[104] Hollywood Film Awards
Hollywood Film Awards
- Breakout Actress Award Hollywood Film Awards
Hollywood Film Awards
- Breakout Ensemble Award[105] Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress (Runner-up)[106] Nominated — Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Supporting Actress Nominated — Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Original Song Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role[107] Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated — Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated — Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Acting Ensemble Nominated — Golden Globe Award
Golden Globe Award
for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Nominated — Golden Globe Award
Golden Globe Award
for Best Original Song Nominated — Gotham Independent Film Award for Breakthrough Actor Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture Nominated — Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated — Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble

2018 Sherlock Gnomes[108] Irene Post-production

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes

1995 New York Undercover Herself "Private Enemy No. 1" (episode 14, season 1), "Tag You're Dead" (episode 2, season 2) [music performance]

1998 The Jamie Foxx Show Ola Mae "Papa Don't Preach" (episode 14, season 2)

1999 Moesha Herself "Good Vibrations?" (episode 1, season 5)

2001 Strong Medicine Simone Fellows "History" (episode 4, season 2)

2007 Ghost Whisperer Jackie Boyd "Mean Ghost" (episode 15, season 2)

Entourage Herself "Gary's Desk" (episode 8, season 4)

2009 30 Rock Herself "Kidney Now!" (episode 22, season 3)

2010 & 2012 American Idol Guest judge/Herself 2010: Auditions were held in Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia
at the Georgia Dome
Georgia Dome
when Blige guest judged. 2012: Mentor for the Top 13 Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston
& Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder
Week

2013 Betty & Coretta Dr. Betty Shabazz Television film Nominated — Women's Image Network Award for Outstanding Actress Made for Television Movie / Mini-Series

The X Factor Guest judge/herself Blige assisted Nicole Scherzinger
Nicole Scherzinger
at her judge's house in Antigua

2015 Empire Angie "Sins of the Father" (episode 10, season 1)

The Wiz Live! Evillene, The Wicked Witch of the West TV special Nominated — Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Movie/Miniseries Nominated — Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actress: Television Movie/Cable

2016 How To Get Away With Murder Ro TV Series (2 episodes)

2018 The Umbrella Academy Cha-Cha TV Series

See also[edit]

Book: Mary J. Blige

List of artists who reached number one in the United States List of black Golden Globe Award
Golden Globe Award
winners and nominees Honorific nicknames in popular music

References[edit]

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Biography. billboard.com ^ a b Brown, Ethan (1999-09-20). "There's Something About Mary". Nymag.com. Retrieved 2012-05-21.  ^ "Blige blows Brum's socks off", Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-05-21. ^ What's the 411? – Mary J. Blige : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards. AllMusic. Retrieved on 2013-05-31. ^ Music - Review of Mary J Blige – What's The 411?. BBC. Retrieved 2013-05-31. ^ Mary J. Blige: Album Guide Rolling Stone
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Music. Rollingstone.com. Retrieved 2013-05-31. ^ Lindsey, Treva (Fall 2017). "If You Look in My Life: Love, Hip Hop Soul, and Contemporary AA Womanhood". African American Review: 90.  ^ a b Lindsey, Treva (Fall 2017). "If You Look in My Life: Love, Hip Hop Soul, and Contemporary AA Womanhood". African American Review: 91.  ^ 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Blog.vh1.com (2010-08-25). Retrieved 2012-05-21. ^ "50 Most Influential RnB Stars — essence.com". Photos.essence.com. Retrieved 2011-11-24.  ^ Staff, Variety (October 23, 2017). "Inaugural Indiewire Honors to Celebrate James Franco, Issa Rae, Kumail Nanjiani and More". Retrieved October 23, 2017.  ^ "'Blade Runner 2049,' Mary J. Blige, Sam Rockwell and More to Be Honored at 2017 Hollywood Film Awards". Retrieved October 23, 2017.  ^ Tapley, Kristopher (December 3, 2017). " Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Film Critics Assn. Crowns 'Call Me by Your Name' Best Picture of 2017". Retrieved December 11, 2017.  ^ 2018 SAG Awards Nominees List Deadline ^ Heath, Paul (November 7, 2017). "Paramount Pictures' 'Sherlock Gnomes' Gets A New Trailer". Retrieved November 7, 2017. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mary J. Blige.

Official website Mary J. Blige
Mary J. Blige
on IMDb

v t e

Mary J. Blige

Awards and nominations Discography Videography

Studio albums

What's the 411? My Life Share My World Mary No More Drama Love & Life The Breakthrough Growing Pains Stronger with Each Tear My Life II... The Journey Continues (Act 1) A Mary Christmas The London Sessions Strength of a Woman

Soundtrack
Soundtrack
albums

Think Like a Man Too

Live albums

The Tour My Collection of Love Songs (Live)

Remix
Remix
albums

What's the 411?
What's the 411?
Remix Dance for Me

Compilation albums

Ballads Mary J. Blige
Mary J. Blige
& Friends Reflections (A Retrospective)

Concert tours

Share My World
Share My World
Tour The Mary Show Tour No More Drama
No More Drama
Tour Love & Life Tour The Breakthrough
The Breakthrough
Experience Tour Heart of the City Tour Growing Pains European Tour Love Soul Tour Music Saved My Life Tour The Liberation Tour The London Sessions
The London Sessions
Tour King and Queen of Hearts World Tour Strength of a Woman Tour

Book Category

v t e

Mary J. Blige
Mary J. Blige
singles

Discography

What's the 411?

"You Remind Me" "Real Love" "Reminisce" "Sweet Thing" "Love No Limit" "You Don't Have to Worry" "My Love"

My Life

"Be Happy" "Mary Jane (All Night Long)" " I'm Goin' Down" "You Bring Me Joy" "I Love You"

Share My World

"Love Is All We Need" "I Can Love You" "Everything" "Missing You" "Seven Days"

Mary

"As" "All That I Can Say" "Deep Inside" "Your Child" "Give Me You"

No More Drama

"Family Affair" "Dance for Me" "No More Drama" "Rainy Dayz"

Love & Life

"Love @ 1st Sight" "Ooh!" "Not Today" "Whenever I Say Your Name" "It's a Wrap"

The Breakthrough

"MJB da MVP" "Be Without You" "One" "Enough Cryin" "Take Me As I Am"

Reflections (A Retrospective)

"We Ride (I See the Future)"

Growing Pains

"Just Fine" "Work That" "Stay Down"

Stronger with Each Tear

"The One" "I Am" "Each Tear" "We Got Hood Love"

My Life II... The Journey Continues (Act 1)

"Ain't Nobody" "25/8" "Don't Mind" "Mr. Wrong" "Why" "Love a Woman" "Someone to Love Me (Naked)"

A Mary Christmas

"Do You Hear What I Hear?" "This Christmas"

Think Like a Man Too

"Suitcase"

The London Sessions

"Doubt" "Right Now" "Therapy " "Whole Damn Year"

Strength of a Woman

"Thick of It" "U + Me (Love Lesson)" "Love Yourself"

Soundtracks

"(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" "Not Gon' Cry" "Stronger" "The Living Proof"

Guest appearances

"911" "Ain't No Way" "America's Song" "Bridge over Troubled Water" "Can't Knock the Hustle" "Disrespectful" "F for You" "Hands" "I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need to Get By" "I'm a Hustla (Remix)" "IfULeave" "Just Stand Up!" "Lean on Me" "Magic Touch (NYC Remix)" "Now or Never" "Remember Me" "Runaway Love" "Stay with Me (Remix)" " Touch It
Touch It
(Remix)" "Wake Up Call (Mark Ronson Remix)" "What Child Is This" "Where Is the Love?"

Book Category

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 54339397 LCCN: no96014488 ISNI: 0000 0000 6310 393X GND: 134778790 SUDOC: 086819445 BNF: cb139640459 (data) MusicBrainz: db76c5ca-d555-4f09-b1db-baa1b713d

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