Blige is considered the standard for R&B with her two decades of work, so it’s easy to forget she was actually a bit of a risk when she signed with Uptown Records in 1989.
Sporting bubble jackets and combat boots, the singer certainly wasn’t like the typically refined and glamorous stars of the genre from that time. Her straightforward approach is what makes MJB special.
She starred in the 2009 Tyler Perry box-office hit I Can Do Bad All By Myself and played a role in the film Rock of Ages (2012).
She received a Golden Globe Award nomination for her musical contribution to the film The Help.
As a child she was sexually abused; as a young star she developed an addiction to drink and drugs, and she was on the receiving end of a violent relationship with a fellow music star.
‘My husband is always like: “You’re so beautiful, you need to be a model.” But you can be the most beautiful person in the world, and if you don’t feel like it inside…’ She shrugs., in 1992, and has released 13 studio albums since and made over 150 guest appearances on other albums and soundtracks.