It’s hard to believe Mary J. Blige dropped the blockbuster What’s The 411? album more than 25 years ago, in July 1992.
Mary J. Blige rocketed onto the scene with a trendsetting style and sound that we hadn’t experienced before. In the waning days of New Jack Swing, Mary entered the game with a decidedly balanced and completely revolutionary blend of Hip Hop and Old Skool Soul that not only took over R&B, but helped broaden Hip Hop’s mainstream appeal.
It was something old mixed with something new, and it proved to be a game changer.
“You Remind Me” actually crept onto radio stations and into car cassette systems in late 1991, after becoming one of the most popular songs included on the soundtrack of that year’s Halle Berry/Tommy Davidson-starring film, Strictly Business.
Mary’s debut album was a monster seller, and she instantly became a musical, cultural and fashion icon.
No one sounded like Mary, and that’s true to this day.
Mary was quickly crowned Queen Of Hip Hop Soul, and everything she touched, or was featured on, seemed to turn to gold.
But Mary was allegedly touching some other things she shouldn’t have been: as her records topped the charts, rumors of drug and alcohol abuse ran rampant.
Mary J. also had a topsy, turvy and allegedly occasionally violent relationship with Jodeci frontman K.-Ci.
There were so many rumors of drama in the relationship that the couple was labeled a 1990s version of Ike and Tina Turner.
The relationship would soon collapse, and Mary would continue recording hits, sharing music of love, hurt, and reconciliation–all while failing to find a permanent man of her own.
A marriage to producer Kendu Isaacs would last more than a decade but end in a bitter divorce in which Isaacs was awarded not only spousal support, but support for a child he had outside of his marriage to Blige as well.
To date, Mary J. Blige has recorded more than a dozen studio albums and has won numerous music awards, including 9 Grammy Award wins out of 31 nominations.
She is also one of the best-selling recording artists of all-time.
And it all started on the strength of “You Remind Me”.