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ESSENCE June guest editor and cover star Mary J. Blige sits down with ESSENCE Editor-in-Chief Constance C.R. White to chat about her blossoming acting career and being inspired by legendary singer, Nina Simone, whom she will be playing in an upcoming biopic. The ESSENCE Music Festival headliner adds that remaking Simone’s songs for the soundtrack is in her plans. “I definitely would love to cover some of her stuff,” she says.

A fashion lover, MJB also touches on why she’s considering a possible accessory line, and the 20th anniversary of her debut album, What’s the 411.