Mary J. Blige tried to hide her emotion at finally getting to perform with her musical idol, Anita Baker, at the 2011 BET Awards last week, but the hip-hop soul diva couldn’t help herself.
“I wanted to cry… I wanted to cry so bad, because that woman is so special,” she told ESSENCE.com during the ESSENCE Music Festival.
Singing “Rapture” with Baker was extra special for Blige since it was the song she recorded on a demo that was eventually given to Uptown Records CEO Andre Harrell, who signed Blige in the early ’90s.
“That ‘Caught up in the rapture’ moment means so much to me,” she said, teary-eyed. “I had no idea that I would be here just for singing a song. When I’m feeling somber, when I’m feeling sad, I listen to that song. It got me through everything.”
“Anita Baker is an angel,” she continued, “my angel.”
“She loves you like a mom, she wants you to feel good.”