NEW YORK — Royalty reigned Tuesday night at the Soho Grand Hotel as Mary J. Blige celebrated the release of her eighth studio album, Growing Pains, with Fabolous, John Legend, legendary R&B singer Patti LaBelle and others.
"Wow," Mario marveled at the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul's longevity. "She's staying true to herself, her life, and knowing every day is a new revelation. That's why I'm a fan."
LaBelle and Blige shared a few laughs on the red carpet beforehand while photographers flashed away at the legendary pair's exchange.
Chingy — whose album, Hate It or Love It, was also released Tuesday — was also in attendance. The St. Louis rapper didn't stay long as he had his own album-release event to attend at another New York club, Sol. Before he made his exit, the DTPer extended an invite to everyone.
"Make sure y'all stop by," he shouted.
Tank, J. Holiday and "American Gangster" actor Idris Elba were also in attendance. Tank recalled his first tour experience, with Aaliyah and Ginuwine, as a part of a Blige-headlined tour.
"I'm forever grateful for the experience," he said.
Alicia Keys' producer Kerry "Krucial" Brothers and Melyssa Ford stopped by, and D-Nice manned the turntables at the swank hotel penthouse, which had flat-screen TVs lining the walls.
Blige was all smiles throughout the night.
She arrived shortly after 10 p.m., wearing cream pants and a matching turtleneck and fur coat. Her husband, Kendu Isaacs, escorted her on the red carpet and stayed by her side all night.
Having started her career singing about her pain and heartache, Blige turned more upbeat beginning with 2001's No More Drama and continuing with 2005's The Breakthrough. Though Growing Pains preaches positivity, she said she can still draw plenty of material from her own life.
"As long as I'm not perfect, you're gonna be hearing from me," she said.