The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul is still riding the success of her Stronger With Each Tear album, gearing up for two new singles: “Hood Love” and “Good Love.”
“We just finished shooting the video for ’Hood Love,’ featuring Trey Songz,” Blige told MTV News. “It’s a story. Basically, it’s what hasn’t been done in a long time. People don’t do stories anymore, and I wanted to keep that going.”
She also wanted to surprise people in another area. “I did a lot of Led Zeppelin covers for the overseas album, which are blowing people away,” she said of her takes on “Stairway to Heaven” and “Whole Lotta Love.” “They didn’t know I had it in me. But I always had that in me. People just don’t pay attention.”
Mary continues to work overtime for the Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now (FFAWN) to push and inspire young women. Blige started her own Mary J. Blige Center for Women in Yonkers — which helps women with scholastics and life skills — and she has also been mentoring young ladies at the Women’s Academy of Excellence in the Bronx. FFAWN and Carol’s Daughter are partnering with The Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund, the New York Urban League, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, as well as Candace Sandy and Dawn Marie Daniels to provide the graduating class at the Women’s Academy of Excellence with four-year scholarships to college.
“This is what’s new and this is what’s happening for me,” said Blige, who recently appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” with her mentees. “It’s really about FFAWN and the Women’s Academy of Excellence and getting these amazing young women off to college. They inspire me. I wish I was them as they wish they were me. They’re amazing. That’s what it is about. It’s about them right now.”
Starting this month, Carol’s Daughter will be selling a special product collection that Blige designed herself. The proceeds go to FFAWN.
What do you think of Mary’s work with young women? Let us know in the comments below!