Mary J. Blige Tickets for Sale

When her debut album, What's the 411?, hit the street in 1992, critics and fans alike were floored by its powerful combination of modern R&B with an edgy rap sound that glanced off of the pain and grit of Mary J. Blige's Yonkers, NY childhood. Called alternately the new Chaka Khan or new Aretha Franklin, Blige had little in common stylistically with either of those artists, but like them helped adorn soul music with new textures and flavors that inspired a whole generation of musicians. With her blonde hair, self-preserving slouch and combat boots, Blige was street-tough and beautiful all at once, and the record company execs who profited off of her early releases did little to dispel the bad-girl image that she earned as she stumbled through the dizzying first days of her career. As she exorcised her personal demons and softened her style to include sleek designer clothes, she remained a hero to thousands of girls growing up in the same kinds of rough places she came from.

Mary Jane Blige (born January 11, 1971) is an American R&B and soul singer and record producer. She was born in Savannah, Georgia but grew up in the housing projects of Yonkers, New York, eventually dropping out of school before graduating.

Blige's musical career began after she recorded "Caught Up in the Rapture" (Anita Baker) with a mall karaoke machine. The tape found its way to Uptown Records, who signed her as a back-up singer. Up-and-coming producer Sean "Puffy" Combs took an interest, however, and helped her with her critically acclaimed debut, What's the 411? (1991, 1991 in music). The album's mix of hip hop and soul music is sometimes called the beginning of nu soul.
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Sep 21 Thu 8:00 PM Mary J. Blige Macon Centreplex
Macon, GA
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Sep 22 Fri 8:00 PM Mary J. Blige Martin Luther King Jr. Arena
Savannah, GA
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Sep 23 Sat 8:00 PM Mary J. Blige KFC Yum! Center
Louisville, KY
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The follow-up, My Life, was much less successful, and Blige soon left Uptown for MCA Records, hiring Suge Knight as a financial advisor. In 1996 Blige scored a modest hit with "Not Gon' Cry," a song she contributed to the soundtrack for the movie Waiting To Exhale. With Share My World (1997, 1997 in music), Blige began working with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis; the album was a commercial success, though reviews were mixed. Mary (1999, 1999 in music) also received mixed reviews, though the album still sold well.

1997's Share My World marked the beginning of Blige's creative partnerships with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The album was another hit for Blige and debuted at number one on the Billboard charts. Critics soured somewhat on its more conventional soul sound, but Blige's fans seemed undaunted. By the time her next studio album, Mary, came out in 1999, the fullness and elegance of her new sound seemed more developed, as Blige exuded a classic soul style aided by material from Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Stevie Wonder, and Lauryn Hill. Mary made it obvious that the ghetto fabulous style and more confrontational aspects of her music were gone, while the emotive power still remained.

That power also helped carry the more modern-sounding 2001 release, No More Drama, a deeply personal album that remained a collective effort musically yet reflected more of Blige's songwriting than any of her previous efforts. The title song on this album borrows the piano melody from the theme song to the soap opera The Young and the Restless.
The Mary J. Blige on No More Drama seemed miles away from the flashy kid on What's the 411?, yet it was still possible to see the path through her music that produced an older, wiser, but still expressive artist. 2003's Love and Life reunited her with P. Diddy, who produced the majority of the album.
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