“If I could tell my younger self something, I would tell her don’t be afraid of your imperfections, because one day people are going to love you for them,” says singer Mary J. Blige. With the 2017 release of her 13th studio album Strength of a Woman, Blige opened up about what she had been through with her former husband/manager Kendu Isaacs and their divorce.
“I think that I realized that no matter what comes to me, no matter how big or bad it is, I have to keep moving, I have to keep living. I said, ‘No, I’m not going to stay in this marriage. I’m out of here.’ That’s what thriving is about.” she admits during an interview with PEOPLE Magazine.
During Sunday’s BET Awards Blige pulled out all the stops performing her own musical tribute after receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award during the event. Reminiscing with signature songs like “I Can Love You”, “Not Gon’ Cry,” “No More Drama.” and more, the nine-time Grammy Award winner’s music continues to resonate with fans. “To be able to touch people with what you’ve gone through and pull them through… The sadness makes me happy almost. I can’t even describe it.”
The two-time Academy Award nominee is scheduled to headline Essence Festival for the 15th time this year. The July 5 New Orleans SuperDome performance will also kick off her “Royalty Tour,” co-headlined with hip hop legend Nas. The duo released new buzz single “Thriving” — after teasing it in April on social media. Blige is making sure to stay booked and busy, focusing on herself .
“I try to keep my mind positive, I stay working out, I try to eat right and treat people right,” she added. “I have fun too, don’t get it twisted, I go out with my friends, I laugh, I joke, I have wine. I do all of that. It’s not easy, it’s hard doing the right thing all the time, but if this is going to keep me out of trouble, I choose this. I don’t let anything get the best of me.”