Happy Birthday to the Queen of Hip Hop Soul. Mary J. Blige is a living legend with 257 awards spanning over her music and acting career and 13 Grammy’s to call her own. The Hip Hop and R& B queen not only has an amazing voice but has one of a kind dance moves that everyone loves. Blige was first signed to Uptown Records in 1989 as a backup vocalist when she was around 18 years old. After that, she began working with Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs and he executive produced her debut album What’s the 411? in 1992. The album went on to have huge success and she was forever dubbed “Queen of Hip Hop Soul.” From then on the singer has steadily released music and performs around the world on tour and at music festivals. Fans praised the icon all day for her birthday and shared their favorite songs on social media. Here are 5 of the best Mary J Blige songs to blast in honor of R&B royalty.
1. Be Happy
“Be Happy” was released in 1994 and has a groovy and soulful beat. The song is all about self-love and leaves you daydreaming blissfully. Blige had the help of P Diddy writing the lyrics and he also directed both of the music videos for the song.
2. Family Affair
The queen was trending on Twitter with her fans sharing their favorite bangers and “Family Affair” was on nearly every list. The song is also her most streamed song on Spotify with 171.3 million streams to date. It is a classic radio hit that everyone (except Generation Z) remembers hearing on their local station. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 list for six weeks and was her first and only Hot 100 #1 single. In 2011 Rolling Stone ranked it number ninety-five on their list of 100 Best Songs of the 2000s decade.
3. Real Love
“Real Love” was on Blige’s debut album ‘Whats the 411?’ It has classic hip hop and R&B sounds and was praised for its New Jack Swing sounds. The title is self explanatory and the song is all about wanting real love. Real Love was her first top ten hit and peaked number seven on the US Billboard Hot 100. It was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) that same year.
4. Be Without You
‘Be Without You’ was Blige’s first single from her seventh studio album The Breakthrough (2005). It’s a classic love story that will have you thinking about your high school boo. It was certified platinum by RIAA in 2007. Billboard ranked the song as the most successful R&B/Hip Hop song of all time in 2017 and it peaked number 3 on the Hot 100 list. In 2007 it won the Grammy for Best R&B Song and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. This iconic hit has over 100 million streams on Spotify and the video has over 191.8 million views to date.
5. Just Fine
“Just Fine” was released in 2007 and is guaranteed to make you dance. The music video is equally amazing and features her classic dance moves. Just Fine exudes positive vibes and self-love and should be everyone’s anthem going into 2021. The song was on her eighth studio album Growing pains (2007) and was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Female R&B Vocal Performance category in 2008.
Bonus: Compilation of Blige dancing:
Blige is currently starring as Monet Stewart Tejada in Power Book II: Ghost, the first spin-off for the Starz drama Power.