The Queen of Hip Hop and R&B Soul, Mary J. Blige brought her talents to the DC area and slayed the stage at the Strength of A Woman Tour. Dressed in all black and clearly in mourning, Mary took us through the nineties to the present on a heartfelt, melodic, journey of life, love, and pain at the MGM Grand Casino Theater. Performing back to back hits like "Real Love", "Share My World", "You're My Everything", "I'm Going Down", "You Remind Me", "Reminisce", and my favorite "My Life". I sang like I was one of the paid background vocalist on stage. Of course she did her infamous "Mary Bop" from one side of the stage to the next and hear me when I say....I lived for every moment!
My love for Mary J. Blige runs deep. She was the first female recording artist that I aspired to be like. Her sound, her soul, her ruggedness. In 1992 when she released "What's the 411", I used to blast my mothers copy of the CD while doing Saturday morning chores. I was a pre-teen at the time and would've never imagined that I would not only meet her one day, but interview her.
I'm sure you're not surprised that in my mind Mary is my fly auntie that never shows up to a family function with out serving. And I'm not talking about serving potato salad. I told you my love for Mary runs deep! Mary and I have history and that is why I sat straight up in my seat and paid close attention when she started dropping gems about the mistakes she made in relationships. She was not only talking to the ladies, she had a word for the fellas too!
Ladies, three lessons from the Mary J. Blige Strength Of A Woman Tour:
1. Love Yourself - Not only did Mary open the tour with this song, but she also talked about how her lack of self-love landed her in the wrong relationships that did not serve and honor her. Because she didn't love herself, she settled for "fake love" and was constantly on a search for that "Real Love" that she so deeply desired but did not know how to receive. She didn't love herself and by default she attracted people that didn't love her either.
2. Push Through The Pain - It was obvious at various points in the concert that Mary is currently hurting. I couldn't help but feel her pain through each song and she cried saying and showed her wounds for all of us to see. That's power. That's strength....the strength of a woman.
3. God Is Everything - When all hope seems lost and the man you loved for over 10 years broke your heart, cheated on you, but you have to pay him how do you find happiness? How do you keep your sanity? How? God!
In the clip below Mary spread speaks about God being her everything. Amen to that!
And for the fellas, Aunty Mary has a few tidbits for you too. My favs...you should have one Queen, not two, not three...ONE! Fellas listen up: