Mary J. Blige on Sharing Dark Parts of Her Childhood in Documentary

Mary J. Blige is opening up about her childhood in her new documentary, Mary J. Blige: My Life. In a new interview with ET’s Kevin Frazier, Blige got real about the painful experiences she had as a little girl growing up in the projects and how they inspired her 1994 album of the same name. Revisiting some of that pain for the documentary was “heavy” for the singer.

“To go back and actually show them where the pain came from, it was heavy, but it was nothing because those are my fans. In order to do a My Life documentary, you have to go back and show people what happened, you know? Why it happened and where did all this pain come from,” Blige explains.

But the most painful part had to be when Blige had to look back on the dark parts of her childhood.

“That was painful because the most painful part is, ‘Why so much stuff, so much stuff had to happen to a little girl?’ But that happens, you know? Little girls aren’t safe. Little boys aren’t safe,” she says.

This is a pain she not only felt for herself, but for her mother, who Blige said struggled through her own pain as a single mother.

“Just speaking about all of that and how my mother was single and she was trying to raise us and she was being hurt. And she was in pain. And we all was in pain, but we were trying to survive without everyone knowing we were in pain,” she adds.

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That darkness had turned to light for Blige, who reflected on what it means to have some of the biggest names in the world like JAY-Z, Beyoncé, Alicia Keys and many more as her fans.

“It’s just beautiful. It’s amazing. It’s humbling, and for me, it’s just a responsibility ’cause, you know, I got something right. I’m just grateful. I’m so grateful that people love me like that. I never thought I would ever touch people,” she shares. “Andre [Harrell] said in the documentary when he came to my house, ‘You’re gonna be singing for royalty,’ and I didn’t know what that meant. Well, I guess that means this right here, you know?”

Blige dedicated the documentary to Harrell, an Uptown Records music executive whom she credits for her successful career.

“The whole documentary is dedicated to Andre, and if it wasn’t for Andre, I wouldn’t be sitting here right now. If he didn’t come down to those projects, I would not be sitting in this chair right now, so I miss him terribly and I’m happy that I met him,” Blige says of the exec who died last year.

Mary J. Blige: My Life debuts on Amazon Prime June 26. 

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