Mary J. Blige: Around the Way Royalty


The fragrance is called “My Life”, a soft, yet spicy confection whose ad bears the likeness of one Mary J. Blige. The heart-shaped bottle encompasses everything that women of color yearn for—love and success in the face of social and romantic adversity. The ad features a dewy-looking Mary dripping in jewels, but not completely rid of her in-your-face, raw sensuality. Tattoos peek out from her upper arms, reminding you that she hasn’t quite let the glamour of Hollywood squeeze out the last drops of her urban goodness. Mary appears to have found love, happiness, and success. So can you. Simply buy a couple ounces of her perfume.

It isn’t too difficult to see how R&B singer Mary J. Blige could be considered a pop culture legend in her own right. But there are few female artists on the scene whose musical footprint has bled over into so many areas of the social world.

But the road to success wasn’t always paved in platinum. Rough times (including a bout with drugs and alcohol) are as much a part of Blige’s brand as it is a part of her personal diary. As a Sean P. Diddy Combs’ protégé, the round-the-way “bad” girl made good—catapulting her Strong Black Woman anthems into something tangible. Her recurring themes of rising from the ashes translated easily into big business.

Mary J. Blige’s soulful voice and earnest stage performances granted her the title of Queen of Hip-Hop Soul. Every lyric of every song she’s performed implies that the Bronx-born singer is perhaps the “realest” black woman in America—a title that has helped her ease into multiple acting roles (including “The Jamie Foxx Show”, Prison Song, and even the off Broadway play The Exonerated.)

But in addition to Mary’s impressive pipes, her sultry looks have also earned her a spot as the R&B world’s resident queen of beauty. Her visual look has skipped easily through New Jack Swing, hardcore hip-hop, and even rock genres. As a result, companies like Coca-Cola, The Gap, Reebok, and even AT&T have taken a liking to Mary’s accessible, yet glamorous image. Now poised to release her first fragrance, the multiple Grammy award-winning star has shown us what happens when round-the-way reaches around the world.

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