41 Reasons We Love Mary J. Blige

Without a doubt, Mary J. Blige is an icon. We’ve loved the Yonkers native ever since she stomped her way (with thigh-high combat boots) into our hearts with her hip-hop soul classic, “Real Love,” some 24 years ago. Her music has been the soundtrack that helped us grow from girls to women. As MJB readies for her 13th performance at the ESSENCE Festival, we could think of no better time to reveal all the reasons she rocks our world.

Yolanda Sangweni Dec, 14, 2016

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Because on or off the stage, no one has swagger quite like MJB.

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She’s always remained true to herself.

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We can only imagine how great a sister and girlfriend she is.

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She put ‘round the way girls’ on the map.

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From her honey blonde tresses to her love of animal prints, Mary has always been a trendsetter.

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Because she has become a sister to us all — she sings the songs for the soundtrack of our lives.

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We’ve watched her grow from a teenager to a woman and wife.

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Because even when everyone was telling her to change her look, she stayed true to her fashion instincts.

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She made it hot for Black women to rock honey blonde hair.

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No matter the time of year, this sister loves to rock knee high boots.

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Because a Mary J. Blige performance is like attending a great church service.

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Even off-duty, no one can make casual look so chic.

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Because 19 years after her debut, her songs never get old.

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Because the sister’s still got moves.

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Her story of triumph over addiction and molestation inspires us all.

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Because nobody wears a catsuit quite like MJB.

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She makes 41 look fierce and oh-so-fabulous!

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She is walking proof that curves will always be sexy.

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Her songs speak to our happiness and pain.

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Because she's jumped into the acting biz beautifully. From Rock of Ages to Betty and Coretta to Black Nativity, this sister is making her mark on the big and small screens.

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Because she sang about not wanting any more drama in her life, and she meant it.

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Mary’s been through it all and tells it like it is.

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She blessed us with the best break-up anthem of ALL time — “Not Gon Cry” — a true classic.

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Because of the album, “My Life.” Nuff said. Period.

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She started her FFAWN organization to help young women of color.

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