Over the years and through the tears, Mary J. Blige has been more than just the finest and fullest performer of modern R & B — the soulful singer is the woman who voices what listeners feel.
Through her music, Blige communicates real emotions and experiences.
With her fifth studio triumph, “No More Drama,” Blige has looked into the mirror of her soul and put into words the truths she has seen in her reflection.
“I have learned something,” Blige offers, in her official website biography. Her tone is a wondrous blend of amazement and awareness.
“I’ve learned that we’ve got to take responsibility for everything that comes out of our mouths. So, my focus is on claiming peace and prosperity, trust, patience and love.
“That love — of self of family, of a mate, of friends, of the spirit and of the power of the beat — is soulfully evident on ‘No More Drama.'”
The album includes songs and productions from such notables as Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Missy Elliot, Chucky Thompson, Swizz Beatz, Rockwilder, The Neptunes, Dr. Dre, Ron Lawrence, Kenny Flav, Dame Greas and Blige. Special guests include Eve, Hakeem, Missy and Lenny Kravitz.
“No More Drama” is a passionate and purposeful exploration of the heart, soul and body. Like her 1999 Grammy nominated, platinum-plus smash “Mary” album, which drew upon Blige’s renewed confidence and reinvigorated spirituality, “No More Drama” is both affirmation and declaration of intent.
It is filled with slice-of-life truths and sizzling tracks that are both deeply personal and richly universal in scope. “This album is a continuation of a turnaround,” Blige explains, speaking to the changes and growth between then and now.
“The ‘Mary’ album was a clean up. It was about cleaning up around me because I still had debris left around me. And this album? It’s about solidifying and moving even further with the things I’ve learned and the strides I’ve made.”
Blige is happy but also attuned to others — her charity work is as much a part of her healing process and her journey as the music she creates. She is seen in anti-drug public service announcements, has worked with various education groups and has helped raise money for people with AIDS.
In the spring of this year, Blige received the Rolling Stone “Do Something Award” for her humanitarian work, and she was recently honored with a lifetime service award by the organization “100 Black Men.” She also received Rock The Vote’s highest honor, the Patrick Lippert Award.
Blige continues as the spokeswoman for MAC’s Viva Glam III, with all proceeds from the lipstick earmarked for AIDS education and research, and her tireless work for People with Aids included an appearance at the United Nation’s AIDS Awareness Day fund-raiser.
Along with her music and her outreach work, Blige is embarking upon an acting career. She recently made a guest appearance on Lifetime’s series “Strong Medicine.”
“I had fun doing that,” Blige said, adding that she also sang No More Drama’s, “PMS”(produced by Chucky Thompson) on the show.
Along with plans to do more acting, Blige is preparing the launch of her own label and firming up her roster of artists.
Blige has hopes for “No More Drama.”
“I’d like people to be entertained, but I’d like them to hear what I’m saying, too. But, if it doesn’t grab you right away, cool. Just dance to it. Just feel it until you are ready to hear what I have to say, and then what ever happens will happen.”
Make a drama date when MTV presents Mary J. Blige live in concert at the Journal Pavilion on Friday, June 28. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are still available at tickets.com.