The American singer-songwriter, actress and record producer Mary J. Blige was born in New York City on January 11, 1971. She has won numerous awards, including 4 American Music Awards and 10 Grammy Awards. Eight of Blige’s albums have been certified multi-platinum. During the early 1990s she combined soul and hip hop and was honored with a World Music Legends Award to recognize her accomplishment.
Blige released What’s the 411?, her debut, multi-platinum selling album, in 1992. It was also her first top ten Billboard 200 set. She has released seven albums in a row that have debuted at No. 1 or Number 2 on Billboard’s 200 chart, with the latest being her 2009 release Stronger with Each Tear. Blige has sold, as of 2010, more than 15 million singles and 50 million albums.
Blige has also pursued an acting career. Her acting debut came in 1998 when she portrayed Ola Mae on television’s The Jamie Foxx Show. In 2001, she starred in Prison Song opposite Q-Tip, the rapper, and also made a cameo appearance in Strong Medicine on Lifetime. In 2004, Blige appeared in The Exonerated, a play on Off-Broadway. Other television guest appearances include Mean Ghost (February 2007), Entourage (August 2007) , America’s Next Top Model (October 2007), and 30 Rock (May 2009). In September 2009, Blige appeared in the film I Can Do Bad All By Myself. Blige is also signed on to play Justice Charlier in the film adaption of Rock of Ages.