Mary J. Blige
The beautifully complex and unique music catalogues of the culturally impactful artists, "Erykah Badu" and "Lauryn Hill" might never have come to fruition without the work of the women before them. The now forty-five year old Grammy Award Winning Artist and New York native, "Mary Jane Blige" helped pave the way by being one of the pioneers of bringing together Hip-Hop and R&B music together. Mary J. Blige has rightfully earned the title of being the, "Queen of Hip-Hop Soul" through her unapologetic illumination of her singing prowess and her invaluable music catalogue that has became a blueprint for countless artists and urban radio hits. Mary J Blige's purging of her deepest and darkest emotions via her musical outputs has made her a hero to a countless amount of fan who connected with her story and would find it very tangible to their own situations.
Mary would spend her early years in the church before she would recorded one of her first demo's by doing her own rendition of, "Anita Baker's" "Caught Up In The Rapture" in 1988. This recording would eventually land in the hands of the Uptown Records Chief Executive Officer, "Andre Harrell". By 1992, Mary J. Blige would be signed to Uptown Records and would release her debut album, "Whats The 411?" that would become an instant success and sell more than three million copies, making Mary a superstar.
Bolstered by the singles, "You Remind Me" and "Real Love" along with Mary's rugged attitude mixed with genuine intentions equaled a critically acclaimed debut album that immediately would position Mary on top of the mountain as the, "Queen of Hip-Hop Soul". From this album forward, Mary would spend the next half of her career and 6 studio albums working through her personal problems that gifted multiple hit singles and platinum albums in, "My Life", "Share My World", "Mary", "No More Drama", "Love & Life" and "The Breakthrough". The second half of Mary's career showcases Mary cultivating more Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Chart topping albums in, "Growing Pains" and "Stronger With Each Tear".
Mary throughout her career has also fostered some of the best guest R&B vocal appearances on Hip-Hop tracks, including the classics, "Love Is All We Need", "Mr. Wrong" featuring Drake and the track "All I Need" paired with the Wu-Tang Clan Veteran MC, "Method Man". Be sure to check out her new album in the future that might feature her first collaboration with the Chicago legend, "Kanye West" and some of Mary's best musical contributions below!