R&B legend Mary J. Blige joined the Joe Clair Morning Show on Friday to talk about her new album and the heartache that inspired it.
“Strength of a Woman” is the singer’s 13th studio album, and it includes collaborations with Kanye West, Missy Elliott, DJ Khaled and more.
The singer wrote the album in the midst of an ugly divorce from Kendu Isaacs, and she said she channeled that pain into her music.
“When I hurt I’m not afraid to express myself to get free from the pain,” Blige told the morning show. “It’s therapeutic for me to write these songs and to sing it because I have to get free from it.”
In the wake of her husband’s infidelity, Blige shared a message to all men. “After we give you our lives, and you say we’re the only woman, we have to be queen,” she said. “We gotta be the only queen; you can’t have 10 queens.”
Her advice? “Respect your woman. Respect your queen. Hold her down. That’s it. That’s all she asks. And she’s asking you to be faithful, but she’s asking you to respect her if you can’t.”
Despite the anger and pain that powered “Strength of a Woman,” Blige has bounced back: “I’m indestructible. I will not be destroyed by this. I will not let this kill me.”
When Joe asked the singer what she’d say to her younger self, Blige responded, “Don’t be afraid to be who you are, and believe in yourself more than everybody else does.”
“I have to continue to remind myself to love myself and look at myself and accept everything: the good, the bad the ugly.”
“Strength of a Woman drops Friday, April 28.
Listen to the full interview below.
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