Mary J. Blige is the true definition of the term “glow up.” She exemplifies having to go through the bitterness of life to enjoy the sweet.
The singer and actress has been nominated for Golden Globe, Critics Choice and Screen Actors Guild awards, and now a history-making two Oscar nods for both her performance as best-supporting-actress and original song in Dee Rees’ Mudbound.
“I just can’t stop crying,” says Mary J. Blige early Tuesday morning, holding back tears over the phone. The nine-time Grammy winner had just earned her first Oscar nomination.
The R&B icon, who already has nine Grammy awards, stars as an impoverished farmer’s wife in Mudbound, the Netflix tale that focuses on the post-World War II era in the Deep South.
Like many, she was asleep when the news came. “My phone rang at about 5:30 a.m. and it was my publicist, Amanda (Silverman), and she was screaming. And I don’t know what it is so I’m screaming and I’m crying! It’s just a really emotional time. We’re not taking this lightly, because things like this don’t happen. And it did.”
Blige earned a second nomination for best original song, “Mighty River.” She is the first person ever to be nominated for a performance and original song in the same year, for the same film. Mighty River is a rallying cry against racial division, and a front-runner for the best song award.
“I couldn’t write while I was filming,” she told Entertainment Weekly, but “after I saw it at Sundance, I was like, ‘Okay, I gotta write a song for this!'”
“It’s like, ‘Come on, enough of this already! White flag in hand, I don’t want to do this. I’m tired of doing this. Aren’t you tired of doing this?'” said the singer.
Taking a look back at what Mary had to go through to get to this place is amazing.
She’s had to deal with sexual abuse.
She had a battle with substance use.
She’s been in failed relationships that have been very public.
She went through a messy divorce from ex-husband, Kendu Issacs.
Last year, the singer admitted that she was homeless for a time.
“When I was five years old I was molested,” she says. “I remember feeling, literally, right before it happened, I just could not believe that this person was going to do this to me. That thing followed me all my life. The shame of thinking my molestation was my fault. It led me to believe I wasn’t worth anything.”
Blige also speaks out about her struggle with alcoholism. “It was bigger than me, and it was…