Mary J. Blige has had a remarkably enduring and successful career, but it took some time for her to get to this point. Here are eight things you may not know about the Queen of Hip-Hop/Soul.
Mary dropped out of high school in her junior year. She was 16 years old.
Her first label was Uptown Records. And at the time she was signed (in 1989), she was the youngest and first female artist they ever had.
Her album, What's The 411, got the name from Mary's past occupation. Before making it big, she was a 4-1-1- operator.
So far in her career, Mary has released 13 studio albums. She's also made over 150 guest appearances on other albums and soundtracks.
She wasn't always the big dog. At the beginning of her career, Mary was a backup singer until her 'Whats' The 411' album dropped.
Music runs in her family - Mary's father was a Jazz musician. Her mother was a nurse.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 16: Recording artist Mary J. Blige performs at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on August 16, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
She was discovered after covering an Anita Baker song - at 17, Mary covered "Caught Up In The Rapture," and it got the attention of execs at Uptown Records.