A veteran in the game, Mary J. Blige is still in demand and still sells magazines when she is on the cover. Her latest fronting is Paper Magazine and she looks amazing.
Back in1992, Andre Harrell, then CEO of Uptown Records, told me that he had a new female singer from Yonkers who was going to become a superstar. Her cover of Anita Baker’s “Caught Up in the Rapture,” recorded at a local mall, had landed in his hands and Harrell’s intern at the time, a young producer by the name of Sean Combs, had requested to take on this project. I was the newly-appointed associate editor of the newly-launched music magazine VIBE, and Uptown’s publicist Lisa Cambridge gushed to me that this young artist’s style was “glam meets hip-hop meets rock ‘n’ roll.” And the hair… she promised it would be like nothing I’d ever seen before. So she sent over a cassette tape with “What’s the 411?” written in Sharpie across the front. As soon as I pressed play and heard “Real Love,” with those textured, beautiful and imperfect vocals, I was turned out. Her sound was both deeply powerful and eerily familiar.