Mary J. Blige Divulges Past Substance Abuse In Ad Campaign

R&B singer says drugs are 'false thing' in radio spot.

R&B singer Mary J. Blige condemns drug use in a new public-service announcement airing on television and radio stations across the country.

In the spot for the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Blige acknowledges that she struggled with drug and alcohol abuse in the past. "Right now, I have no shame," Blige said backstage at the Soul Train Awards in Los Angeles on March 4. "I am human, and everyone goes through things."

The announcement, set to the music of Blige's collaboration with Elton John, "Deep Inside" (RealAudio excerpt), features Blige saying, "Drugs used to make me feel no pain at all. Once the feeling is gone, you're back to feeling like you're nobody."

At the awards ceremony, she said she didn't do the spot to gain public sympathy or pity. "I wanted to speak on certain things that I really didn't think were right," Blige said. Other artists who've done public-service announcements for the Partnership include New Jersey R&B/hip-hop singer Lauryn Hill and rapper Chuck D.

Bobby Sheehan, the spot's director, said Blige's confessional tone makes the message more believable. "She comes across as very genuine, and without that, nothing else would matter," he said in a press release.

Blige also appears in an upcoming film, "Prison Song," in which she plays a struggling 28-year-old mother "who is tired of her people being outnumbered," she said.

"There are a lot of people in jail right now that haven't done anything," Blige added. "People forget it's another kind of life." The film was co-written by rapper Q-Tip.