Mary J. Blige has been wearing her crown as the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul for nearly three decades now. But in recent years, Blige has turned her main focus from music to acting. She was nominated for two Academy Awards for the 2017 movie Mudbound and has since appeared in hit shows like The Umbrella Academy and Power Book II: Ghost; she even portrayed jazz legend Dinah Washington in the acclaimed Aretha Franklin biopic Respect.
Now, after stepping away from the studio, Blige is back with new music and the promise of a new album on the way. “Good Morning Gorgeous” and “Amazing,” both out today, are the lead singles off her upcoming LP, presumably due out early next year in time for her headlining performance at the Super Bowl LVI halftime show.
“Amazing” is an upbeat outing with some help from DJ Khaled, while on “Good Morning Gorgeous,” Blige sings about the joy of waking up with yourself and embracing the person you see in the mirror. It’s a concept that she spoke about in a recent interview with Tamron Hall.
“The reason why I say I feel amazing is not because every day is a great day and I always wake up looking like this [with] hair and makeup. Because I wake up with no hair and makeup, I’m accepting that chick that goes to the bathroom. And I like her!” Blige said proudly. “I hang out with myself a lot. I’m my own best friend. I got me; we got each other. And that’s why it’s cool.”
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Her forthcoming album will be her first since 2017’s Strength of a Woman, released in the midst of her tumultuous divorce from ex-husband Kendu Isaacs. The album will be a look into Blige’s life since then and how she got herself to come out on top.
“Wait till you hear it; it’s gonna blow everybody’s mind,” she said proudly. “It’s because it’s something I had to do, and something I had to say when I was in my darkest, darkest moments in that life, to build myself up to this person that I can see and accept my nose, accept my eyes, accept my cheeks, accept all the things that I used to hate.”