Exclusive GRAMMY.com Interview With Mary J. Blige
On Oct. 15 GRAMMY-winning R&B songstress Mary J. Blige released her first-ever holiday album, A Mary Christmas. Prior to the album's release, Blige participated in an exclusive GRAMMY.com interview to discuss the making of the album, which was co-produced by GRAMMY-winning songwriter/producer David Foster.
"The way I get to the point of making you believe that it's Christmas is going back to Christmas as a child," said Blige. "Becoming that child again, remembering what was going on when we were decorating the Christmas tree, what song was playing, how it made me feel, and sharing that with everyone."
A nine-time GRAMMY winner hailing from New York, Blige launched her music career with the release of her 1992 debut album What's The 411? Combining modern R&B with an edgy rap sound, the album peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 on the strength of the Top 10 single "Real Love." She followed with 1994's Sean "Diddy" Combs-produced My Life, which peaked at No. 7 and garnered Blige her first GRAMMY nomination for Best R&B Album. That same year she took home her first GRAMMY for Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group for her duet with Method Man on "I'll Be There For You/You're All I Need To Get By."
Blige earned her first No. 1 album with 1997's Share My World, which featured the hits "I Can Love You" and "Everything" and earned a GRAMMY nomination for Best R&B Album. She subsequently released eight Top 10 albums, including The Breakthrough (2006), which featured the GRAMMY-winning hit "Be Without You," and Growing Pains (2007), which earned Blige her most recent GRAMMY for Best Contemporary R&B Album.
Co-produced by Foster, A Mary Christmas features Blige's soulful interpretations of 12 classics, including "The First Noel" featuring the Clark Sisters, "Do You Hear What I Hear" featuring Jessie J., "When You Wish Upon A Star" featuring Chris Botti Barbra Streisand, and a Spanish-language version of "Silent Night" ("Noche De Paz") featuring Mark Anthony.