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The High School Dropout Who Took Over the Industry: 10 Things You May Not Know about Mary J. Blige

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Mary J. Blige speaks to women in ways that no other artist can.  She is respected around the globe and has been an absolute staple in the minds of many who enjoy great performances.  But do you really know Mary the way you think you do?  Maybe not.

Just in case someone quizzes you on the greatness of Mary J. Blige, here are a few facts about Mary that will allow you to know the story behind one of the greatest performers in entertainment history.

  1. Mary Jane Blige was born on January 11, 1971.
  2. Mary has won 9 Grammy Awards throughout her career.
  3. At the young age of five, Mary J. Blige was molested by a family friend.
  4. In the 11th grade Mary dropped out of Roosevelt High School, in New York, to pursue a music career.
  5. Mary J. Blige signed to Uptown Records in 1989, making her the youngest and first female artist in the label.
  6. Her debut album, What’s the 411?, sold 3 million copies within the first year.
  7. Share My World, her third album, was the most commercially successful album of her career. It sold over 3 million copies in the U.S.
  8. In February 2013, it was reported that Mary was being sued by the State of New Jersey for a $900,000 tax lien and a defaulted $2.2 million bank loan.
  9. Mary J. Blige starred in the Lifetime movie, Betty and Coretta with Angela Basset. She played the widow of Malcom X, Dr. Betty Shabazz.
  10. Matriarch Records is Mary’s own record label that she launched in 2004.