It’s been a banner year for Mary J. Blige, and the legendary Queen of Hip-Hop Soul isn’t taking any of it for granted.
“I’m super proud of myself and I’ve never thought I’d ever be able to say that in my lifetime,” Blige says in a new interview with Apple Music, with Billboard sharing two preview clips from the interview exclusively below.
“Be Without You” singer sat down with Apple Music 1’s Nadeska for a conversation about her Super Bowl halftime show performance and the 30-year anniversary of her debut album. In January, Blige headlined the Super Bowl LVI halftime show alongside Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar and Eminem. Her performance of the Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 “Family Affair” and the top 20 hit “No More Drama” set the stage for the debut of Good Morning Gorgeous, the icon’s 14th studio album.
“I don’t even have the words to explain how full and how huge of an accomplishment that was. I just felt so strong. And I felt like, first of all, grateful to have been asked, but I definitely felt like I earned that moment,” Blige remarked. “So when it was my turn, I just showed the world who I was. If you’d never seen me or you never met me or you never went to any of my shows, you know exactly who I am after the Super Bowl. I just couldn’t wait to hit the Mary bopping. I just couldn’t wait to just be myself and do what I do in front of that audience. That was the world, that was a big deal. I was so grateful.”
Earlier this month, Mary graced the stage to celebrate her decorated career. Mary’s Apple Music Live performance set was riveting as the revered singer skated through her venerable catalog, most notably her first two albums, What’s The 411 and My Life. With her live band in tow, songs such as “Be Happy,” “Real Love,” “Mary Jane,” and “My Life” kept fans enthralled and engaged as everyone danced the night away at New York City’s United Palace Theatre. Mary even gave fans a slice of new album Good Morning Gorgeous and sang “Come See About Me” and “Rent Money.” Viewers can tune in here to watch the entire performance.
Good Morning Gorgeous became the 2022 Billboard Icon Award recipient’s 19th top 10 entry on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, but the “Real Love” singer has been dominating the Billboard charts for three decades now. Back in 1992, What’s the 411?, her landmark debut album, spent a total of seven weeks at the pole position of the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. While reflecting on her 30-year career, Blige gushed, “I am super proud of myself because I did a lot of work to get here… I’m proud of my soul, my spirit, my work ethic, the people that I choose to be around me, the energy that I give to people, I’m proud. I’m super proud of how far I came because I come a long way.”
Mary J. Blige’s full Apple Music 1 interview will be available to stream on Wednesday. The interview will precede her Apple Music Live performance, making her the third artist to join the streaming platform’s live music series, following Harry Styles and Lil Durk.