Thank you so much for supporting me from the day I stepped foot into the music industry. It really means something to me to have Maya Angelou speak on my behalf. It also means a lot to have Oprah on my speed dial!
If I'm going to be the best in what I do, I have to study what I'm doing, I have to see what I'm doing. I have to see it, I have to hear it. I'm just starting to appreciate myself - not starting, but appreciating myself in a way where I can look at myself back in a movie or listen to myself as much as I do now.
As a child I always wanted to be a singer. The music my mother played in the house moved me - Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Mahalia Jackson. It was truly spiritual. It made you understand what God was. We are all spirits. We get depressed. But music makes you want to live. I know my music has saved my life.
I can tell you I didn't feel good when I could not articulate properly. Getting my GED was important and I want other women to feel that.
'My Life' is not an autobiography. It's just music.
Nowadays, with the state of the music business, for any artist, whether you're up-and-coming or you've been in it for awhile, you have to explore different revenues and different ways of expressing yourself.
I can have as many bad days as anyone. But I choose to say, 'I'm just fine.'
I believe there are certain things that God uses to get us out of a bad situation, and I believe music was one of the things he used for me.
I grew up watching MTV, when Journey was huge, when Pat Benatar had 'Love Is a Battlefield,' and my friends and I used to cut school to watch this woman in the video. We loved Pat Benatar.
I can't just make a song people can dance in a club to... it still has to be real.
There's so many things that life is, and no matter how many breakthroughs, trials will exist and we're going to get through it. Just be strong.
Just don't let the hype of what people are saying and how much they love you, y'know, just take the compliment and be thankful that people are complimenting you, but don't let it consume you; don't let your circumstances around you and the way people view you make you act a certain way.
I know who I am. I am not perfect. I'm not the most beautiful woman in the world. But I'm one of them.
I felt ashamed about everything. Me dropping out of high school, me not, you know, just not being beautiful enough. I just didn't feel like I was smart enough or beautiful enough, you know, for years.
Believe in yourself when nobody else does.
I do consider myself part of black history.
One day I realized that I wasn't getting anywhere by blaming other people for my circumstances. I finally understood: Even if you feel someone has wronged you or owes you something, no one is going to give you anything for free.
No one intimidates me because I'm not trying to do what you do, because I can't do what you do. I can only do what Mary J. Blige can do, so that relaxes me right there, and it gets me out of the competition and that whole thing.
The younger Mary J. Blige, I would call her, she was very unaware, ignorant.
I cannot save the world; that's not what I'm trying to do. I guess I'm just trying to walk the walk and be an example to those that want it. Not everybody does, but if Mary J. Blige can come out of that same hole you were in, then you can do it, too - that's my goal: to do that without saying it, but actually live it.