Mary J. Blige
Known for her soulful voice and heartbreakingly honest lyrics, Mary J. Blige receives much of her musical inspiration from her childhood. Blige was able to leave her rough life in the projects of Yonkers, N.Y., behind when she was discovered at age 17 after recording a cover of Anita Baker‘s “Caught Up in the Rapture” at a makeshift studio at a local mall.
Blige’s debut album, What’s the 411?, became a success with help from her early mentor, Diddy. Subsequent albums have moved their way up the charts. Blige’s 8th disc, Growing Pains, became the artist’s third consecutive album to work its way to the top of the Billboard 200 and R&B/Hip-Hop Album charts.
Blige has won a total of nine Grammys, sold nearly 45 million records and had eight multi-platinum albums. She has also made her way onto the small screen with a number of guest spots, including Entourage and Ghost Whisperer, and appeared as Tanya in Tyler Perry‘s I Can Do Bad All By Myself.
The singer married record executive Kendu Isaacs in 2003 in an intimate ceremony attended by 50 friends and family members. Blige helps Isaacs raise his three children from a previous relationship.