Mary J. Blige's music has undoubtedly resonated with many of us — but in a new interview, the singer shared that music saved her just as much as it changed her fans' lives.
In an interview with MAKERS, Blige discussed her path to success, opening up about the depression she experienced, which ultimately led her to rely on drugs and alcohol.
After her first record took off, she said, she was "still living in the projects."
On the one hand, she "people are buying your records, they wanna see you," but on the other, "people in the neighborhood wanted to kill you for it."
Because of that, she said, she had to try to survive the only way she knew how.
"I was resorting to alcohol and drugs to numb the pain," she told MAKERS. "People from the outside looking in would think everything was great, but I was in hell. I was spiraling down, I didn't think I would make it."
However, Blige was able to channel her pain into her music.
"I didn't think anybody would pay attention to my call for help, but my fanbase did," she said.
And once they did, Blige came to a realization about the impact she could have on people.
"I realized that I can't do this anymore. I can save lives," she said. "I had to figure out a way to uplift us and be a woman of empowerment and strength."
"I took all this depression and oppression I was dealing with and just put it in my music. I made the choice, I chose life."
If you are struggling with substance abuse, please call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for free and confidential information.
If you are experiencing depression and need support, please call the National Depressive/Manic-Depressive Association Hotline at 1-800-826-3632 or the Crisis Call Center’s 24-hour hotline at 1-775-784-8090.
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