Mary J. Blige in Concert, Verizon Center, Sunday August 26, 2012

A strong woman once said “I know who I am and what I can do. With each album, it’s just me continuing to grow.” This artist has eight multi-platinum albums, nine Grammy Awards (plus a staggering 29 nominations) and four American Music Awards. Adored, admired, respected, idolizes, and also empowering. What does all these word have in common? The esteem Mary J Blige better known as the “Queen of Hip-Hop Soul is who. She will be performing live August 26, 2012 in Washington, DC @ The Verizon Center sure to be a sold out event. “My fans and I are living examples that you can turn a negative situation into something positive,” declares Blige. “Conceptually, people have heard me like this. But artistically, with just a guitar, I don’t think they’ve ever heard me like that before.”
Born in the Bronx, New York, Blige began moving people with her soulful voice when at 18 she signed with Andre Harrell’s Uptown Records in 1989, becoming the MCA-distributed label’s youngest and first female artist. Influenced at an early age by the music of Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan and Gladys Knight, Blige brought her own urban-rooted style and fusing hip-hop, soul and honest, frank lyrics—to the forefront on her 1992 debut album What’s the 411?The multi-platinum set, executive produced by Sean “Diddy” Combs, quickly spun off several hits, including two No. R&B No. 1s: “You Remind Me” and “Real Love.” Now music isn’t the only thing keeping Blige busy. She is the co-founder of the Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now (FFAWN), whose mission is to empower women from all walks of life to reach their full individual potential. Flexing her talents as an entrepreneur, Blige launched her Melody line of sunglasses in 2009. In 2010, her “My Life” perfume became the first to sell more than 60,000 bottles in one day on the Home Shopping Network with $1 from each purchase donated to FFAWN. A second perfume, “My Life Blossom,” was introduced in summer 2011. As she continues her multi-faceted journey, however, one constant remains for Blige: her fans. “Being connected with their lives is what keeps me going,” she says. “They’re the reason why I am where I am: confident in knowing who I am and what I can do. With each album, it’s just me continuing to grow. And that’s the takeaway I want for my fans with My Life II … to please look at what we’ve survived and how strong we are now.”

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