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"Queen of Hip-Hop Soul" Mary J. Blige has influenced a generation of artists with hits like "Real Love" and "Be Without You." She has also had a successful acting career, including playing Betty Shabazz in the TV movie Betty & Coretta.
Betty & Coretta - Trailer (1:56)
A short biography of Mary J. Blige who redefined R&B with her mix of rap, pop, and gospel sounds in hits like "Real Love," and "No More Drama."
Angela Bassett, who stars as Coretta Scott King in the Lifetime Original Movie, "Betty & Coretta," remembers and honors Martin Luther King. "Betty & Coretta" premieres Saturday, February 2nd 8/7c.
Mary J. Blige, who stars as Betty Shabazz in the Lifetime Original Movie, "Betty & Coretta," remembers and honors Martin Luther King. "Betty & Coretta" premieres Saturday, February 2nd 8/7c.
Focusing on the extraordinary women behind the two men who would change history, "Betty & Coretta" tells the similar true stories of Coretta Scott King , wife of Dr. Martin Luther King and Dr. Betty Shabazz, wife of Malcolm X.
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The album sold more than 3 million copies, bolstered by the hit singles "You Remind Me" and "Real Love."
Two years later, Blige released a second album, My Life, on which she wrote or co-wrote nearly all of the songs. My Life proved another critical and popular success with singles such as "Be Happy," "Mary Jane (All Night Long)" and "You Bring Me Joy." In 1996,
she won her first Grammy Award (best rap performance by a duo or group) for "I'll be There For You/You're All I Need to Get By," a duet with Method Man of the Wu-Tang Clan. Her third album, 1997's Share My World, reached No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart.
While her music was adored by fans and critics alike, behind her professional success Blige's personal life continued to spiral out of control. "I didn't know my own worth," she said. "I was ignorant. The people making money off me kept me blind: 'Mary likes cocaine? OK, let's make sure she keeps getting it. Alcohol? Get her that.'" Blige finally managed to turn her life around when she met and fell in love with a music executive named Kendu Isaacs. "After I met him, everything changed in my life," she said. "He was the first person to ever challenge what I did: 'Why are you drinking? Why do you hate yourself? You don't need to be around people who tear you down. You're beautiful, Mary.' He was the first man to ever tell me that." Blige and Isaacs married in 2003, and she is a stepmother to his three children.
In 2001, Blige released an album fittingly titled No More Drama. The album features her most popular song to date, "Family Affair," which was one of the most popular songs of the decade and remains a classic of the hip-hop soul genre. After her 2003 album Love & Life earned only lukewarm reviews, Blige recorded her most popular and acclaimed album to date, The Breakthrough, in 2005. In addition to selling more than 7 million copies worldwide, The Breakthrough was nominated for eight Grammy Awards and won three, for best R&B album, best R&B song and best R&B female vocal performance (for the song "Be Without You"). Blige continued to put out new albums thereafter, including Growing Pains (2007) and Stronger with Each Tear (2009).
In 2011, Blige contributed a song, "The Living Proof," to the soundtrack of the hit film The Help. She also released the album My Life: Part II ... The Journey Continues, which became a Top 5 hit. The record featured the song "Mr. Wrong," a collaboration with rapper Drake. The following year, Blige celebrated the 25th anniversary of her breakthrough debut What's the 411? with a new edition of this classic album. Known as the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, Mary J. Blige is undeniably one of the great singers of her generation. She has sold over 50 million albums and has won nine Grammy Awards.
In addition to music, Blige has branched out into acting. She appeared in Tyler Perry's dramatic comedy I Can Do Bad All By Myself in 2009, and sang in the musical film Rock of Ages alongside Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand in 2012. Taking on a more dramatic role, in 2013, she appeared as Dr. Betty Shabazz, the widow of slain civil rights leader Malcolm X, in the TV movie Betty & Coretta. Angela Bassett co-starred as Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King Jr., in the small-screen production, which explored the lives of these two women in the wake of their husbands' deaths.
© 2013 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.
© 2013 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.
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