Mary J. Blige Reaches Back For Live Album

Mary J. Blige is preparing to do something rather unusual for a hip-hop artist -- release a live record.

Entitled, appropriately enough, "The Tour," Blige's first ever live album collects some 23 songs culled from her 1997-98 road outing and is due in stores next week.

Highlights from the live set include classic covers of Aretha Franklin's "Daydreaming" and Dorothy Moore's "Misty Blue," two songs that evoke special memories for the singer.

"'Daydreaming' was a song that my mother listened to," Blige explained to the MTV Radio Network, "She listened to Aretha's album when we were younger, and we just used to pick our own songs that we wanted to listen to. Dorothy Moore's 'Misty Blue' was my mother's favorite [record], favorite of all-time. She had like 20 [copies] of those 45s."

Blige will launch her own label, Mary Jane Entertainment, this fall and is nearly done with her next studio album, the follow-up to 1997's "Share My World."

The first single from the new

studio effort, "No Happy Holidays," will be out in November and there's talk that the album may be released as early as January.