Mary J. Blige was born on January 11, 1971, the New York City borough of the Bronx to mother Cora, a nurse, and father Thomas, a jazz musician. She was later raised in the historic Savannah, Georgia where she began singing in a church before moving back to the state of New York.
During that period of the late 1980s, she began pursuing her musical career — which included an early cover of Anita Baker’s “Caught Up in the Rapture.” Based on that, she was signed to Uptown Records where she released her 1992 debut album ‘What’s the 411?’ followed by 1993’s ‘My Life.’
Mary is seen here at a Los Angeles event in 1992. At the time, the future R&B and soul queen had just hit the scene with her iconic debut album ‘What’s the 411?’
Over the course of her career, Mary J. Blige has released 13 studio albums and become one of the most successful recording artists in history with 100 million albums sold. She’s won nine Grammy Awards, along with four AMAs, 12 Billboard Awards and on Feb. 13 will have the honor of performing at the Super Bowl LVI Half Time Show with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, and Kendrick Lamar.
Want to know more? Look back on Mary J’s iconic career in photos here.