With a brace of new songs and a burgeoning acting career, Mary J. Blige has a busy year lined up, but you'd never know it from speaking to her.
"I'm recording my album right now in L.A.," Mary said, "I'm happy."
Apparently she meant happy to politely decline to offer any further details about it. But MTV News has learned that Mary's already recorded 27 songs for the album, which is expected out this August, with such producers as Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Dr. Dre, Rodney Jerkins, Swizz Beatz, Raphael Saadiq, Robin Thicke, and Jam & Lewis. And that's just a partial list.
Even when she's not working on her own material, Mary's been spending a lot of her free time in the recording booth, making a remix of Cassidy's "I'm a Hustla" and duetting with Will Smith and Jamie Foxx for their upcoming albums. Her track with Smith is called "Why," and she and Foxx remade the '80s song "Love Changes" by Kashif.
That time with Jamie Foxx must have really been inspiring. Though she's been considering some acting roles for a while, now that Foxx nabbed the Academy Award, Mary J.'s got visions of shiny gold men dancing in her head too.
"I'm looking at scripts right now," she said. "One main script that I'm a little nervous about. I just gotta get more passionate about this acting thing. I love music, so I'm passionate about that. If I can get as passionate about acting as I am about music, then maybe I'll win an Oscar."