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Mary J. Blige ( //; born January 11, 1971) is an American singer, songwriter,record producer and occasional actress. She is a recipient of nine Grammy Awards and four American Music Awards, and has recorded eight multi-platinum albums. She is the only artist with Grammy Award wins in Pop, Rap, Gospel, and R&B. Blige is a mezzo-soprano.
Blige started her musical career in 1992, releasing her debut album, What's the 411? on MCA Records and Uptown. With her tenth album, My Life II... The Journey Continues (Act 1) (2011), she had ten consecutive albums debut in the top 10 on the Billboard 200. Blige's work has defined the course of R&B/Hip-Hop music. My Life, in particular, is considered among the greatest albums ever recorded according to Rolling Stone (279/500), Time,and Vibe. For her part in combining hip hop and soul in the early 1990s and its subsequent commercial success, Blige received the World Music Awards "Legends Award". In 2007 the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers awarded her its "Voice of Music" Award. ASCAP official Jeanie Weems stated that "[Blige's] music has been the voice of inspiration to women worldwide in both struggle and triumph." That same year,Time included her in its "Time 100" list, a collection of the year's 100 most influential individuals around the world. In a documentary by BET television, Mary J. Blige said that when she hears music, she sees colors. In other words she has Synesthesia.
As of 2011, Blige has sold over 50 million albums and 15 million singles worldwide.Billboard Magazine ranked Blige as the most successful female R&B artist of the past 25 years. The magazine also lists her 2006 song "Be Without You" as the top R&B song of the 2000s, as it spent an unparalleled 15 weeks atop the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.In 2011, VH1 ranked Blige as the 80th greatest artist of all time. Moreover, she is ranked number 100 on the list of "100 greatest singers of all time" by Rolling Stone magazine. In 2012, VH1 ranked Blige at number 9 in "The 100 Greatest Woman in Music."
Blige also earned high remarks for her work in film and fragrance. She starred in the 2009 Tyler Perry box-office hit I Can Do Bad All By Myself and played a role in the film Rock of Ages, which was released to theaters in 2012. She is a recipient of two Golden Globe Awards nominations for her musical contributions to the films Bobby and The Help. She is named to play music icon Nina Simone in the upcoming biopic Nina. In partnership with the Home Shopping Network (HSN) and Carol's Daughter, Blige released her "My Life" perfume. The perfume broke HSN records by selling 65,000 bottles during its premiere.The scent went on to win two FiFi Awards, including the prestigious "Fragrance Sales Breakthrough" award.