The career of the soul queen took another adventurous turn in 2014 with the release of The London Sessions. In 2017, she returned to the US R&B top three with her 13th studio set, Strength Of A Woman. But back in 1994, Blige was on her sophomore release and the follow-up to the record with which she’d burst onto the scene in 1992, What’s The 411?
That LP, which featured such trademark hits as ‘Reminisce,’ ‘Real Love’ and ‘You Remind Me,’ went double platinum in the US, spent seven weeks at No. 1 on the R&B listing, and 64 on the chart altogether. Incredibly, My Life would match or beat all of those impressive statistics.
Blige’s second album, executive produced by Sean ‘Puffy’ Combs, was introduced by the first single hit ‘Be Happy,’ a No. 6 R&B success that also reached No. 30 on the Billboard Hot 100. The full set followed at the end of November and went straight to No. 1 on the soul chart. Mary wouldn’t achieve that feat on the pop album chart for another two and a half years, when she released her third album Share My World.
What’s The 411? went platinum in three months and double platinum in seven, but it was eight years before it achieved triple platinum status, in 2000. My Life was platinum in two months, double platinum in four, and triple in just over a year.
The album outstripped its predecessor with eight weeks at the top of the R&B survey and an epic 85 weeks on the chart altogether. Hit singles such as ‘I’m Goin’ Down,’ ‘Mary Jane (All Night Long)’ and others were lifted from it during 1995, as the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul’s reign continued.
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Follow the official Mary J. Blige Best Of playlist.