Mary J Blige

I'm Already Naked

Mary J Blige. Healthy Living Magazine, Yana Mandeville

Mary J Blige. Healthy Living Magazine, Yana Mandeville

Part 2 of 4

HealthyLivinG: Do you still get nervous when you go on stage?

Mary J Blige: Right before I go on stage, I get nervous. But once I’m out there, it’s no more nerves.

HealthyLivinG: It must be the outpouring of your fans’ love.

Mary J Blige: Yeah. It’s a lot of love and I’m out there to give, give, give, give, give and whatever they send me back is a perk. It’s the cherry on the top of the cake. I’m not looking to get anything. I’m looking to come out there and give and if I get so much back in return, that’s the payoff.

HealthyLivinG: You have won many Grammys. Where do you keep all your awards?

Mary J Blige: In my house on shelves, pianos, fireplaces, tops of fireplaces … they’re everywhere.

HealthyLivinG: Are there any artists that you haven’t yet collaborated with that you would like to?

Mary J Blige: I’ve collaborated with so many artists that I don’t know who else is out there to collaborate with. I’ve done so many things. All my dreams have come true. I’ve done things with Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Bono, Elton, George Michael, Sting, Eric Clapton, Puffy, Jay Z, Method Man; you name it. Just everyone from hip-hop to pop to R&B. I’ve done some of my favorite things with them.

HealthyLivinG: You and Elton John are good friends and he gives you feedback on your new music. When he gives you his opinion, how honest is he? Would you say he tells you exactly how he feels?

Mary J Blige: Elton is brutally honest, because he cares about us and he always tells the truth even if it hurts our feelings. Sometimes it’s like…“Wow!” But it’s the truth and I appreciate the truth. I really respect the fact that he wants to see me do better and I trust him. Elton John doesn’t BS anyone. I’ve never seen him BS anyone. He’s a real person and if you don’t want to know the truth, don’t ask him; you might get your feelings hurt because he’ll tell you the truth.

HealthyLivinG: That's valuable brutal truth.

Mary J Blige: He’s very valuable to my life, to my career. It was he at the beginning of the No More Drama album that I was starting. This is how we became friends—when he spoke my name in an interview, he said I was one of his favorite R&B singers. Elton John doesn’t just give compliments. So I said, “Wow, Elton John is complimenting Mary J Blige—that’s amazing. I need to call him; I need to work with him.” I called him and he came. And we worked together on one of the songs and I think it was the Mary album or the No More Drama album. It was when we used Benny and the Jets as a sample and he played on it, and from that day on we’ve been friends. He’s been really, really honest. If I did a great album, he’ll call and say, “Wow. This is great. This is amazing.” If I did something that was just mediocre, he’d say, “All right, enough of this two track stuff. You’re bigger than that.” And he was telling the truth, because I was starting to feel the same way he felt.

HealthyLivinG: You recently spent a month in London working on the new record The London Sessions. Did you see him while you were in London?

Mary J Blige: I didn’t see him when I was in London, but when I came back from London I visited with him, David and the kids, and I played him the album and he said, “At last.” He was so happy just to hear me on live instruments and not a bunch of tracks and beats but just my voice raw. He was just so excited to hear me like that on that album.

HealthyLivinG: Are you currently planning a tour?

Mary J Blige: I’m about to tour overseas for this album.

HealthyLivinG: If you were to go to another country for a month for inspiration and make a record, where would it be?

Mary J Blige: Maybe Australia or Africa. More than likely it’ll be Australia because it’s beautiful. It is one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited, lived in, wanted to go back and live. I would go back and live there. The I’ve never lived in Africa. I’ve never stayed in Africa that long so I don’t know what that would be like, but I stayed in Australia for about a month and it was incredible. So Australia and Africa are two places I would definitely record in.

Read Part 3 of 4

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