Mary J. Blige is happy and thriving as we were reminded when she stepped onstage at the 2019 BET Awards last Sunday to collect the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The legendary R&B singer’s road to peace was hard-won. The singer ended her 13-year marriage to her former manager Kendu Isaacs, whom she claims had been unfaithful in the marriage. Divorce proceedings included disputes over finances, as Isaacs was initially seeking $130,000 a month in spousal support.
Now that the dust has settled, the 2019 Essence Festival headliner is opening up about coming out on the other side of a marriage that could’ve halted her entire career.
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“It’s therapeutic. To travel back and to relive something again and not have it drive you crazy is a true gift from God,” she explained. “To be able to touch people with what you’ve gone through and pull them though the sadness makes me happy almost. I can’t even describe it.”
In a 2017 interview with ESSENCE’s Yes, Girl! podcast nearly a year after she first filed for divorce, Blige opened up about staying strong in the midst of her storm.
“I’m not going to let my circumstances take my smile off my face,” she revealed. “I’m living. I’m getting through it. You know it is what it is and we have not come to the end of it yet, so it’s still a lot. But I’m not going to let it wipe my smile off, you know. I’m going to keep praying. I’m going to keep asking for strength to get through it.”
Currently, the singer revealed that she’s reestablished her happiness.
“I’m very content and I’m happy with myself,” Blige told People. “I learned to be happy with just Mary, just enjoying my own company, me by myself most of the time. I’m grateful.”