Soul singer Mary J. Blige is back with a new 2017 album Strength Of A Woman. Released on April 28, Strength Of A Woman is a powerful and emotional record that deals with hard hitting topics, and it is Blige’s first releases since 2014’s The London Sessions. According to Vulture, Strength Of A Woman is essentially Mary J. Blige’s “divorce record.”
Blige’s divorce battle with husband and manager Martin “Kendu” Isaacs has been well publicized. According to Page Six, Blige and Isaacs are locked in a battle over spousal support. Isaacs is apparently claiming support of almost $130,000 per month, while Blige insists he deserves nothing. Mary J. believes that Isaacs recently spent over $420,000 on his girlfriend and claimed the money was for business expenses. Worse still, it is rumored that Isaacs was cheating on Blige with Starshell, a 28-year-old up-and-coming artist, who Blige treated as her protégé.
It’s reported that sources told Page Six, that everyone, except Mary, knew that Isaacs was cheating on her with her protégé.
“Everyone knew. Mary was the last to know, but it’s like, how do you not know?
“It was more like one of those things where you end up believing what you want to believe. But Mary had her suspicions.
“You’d see them out in the studio together, having dinner without Mary. And then Mary would be at events with her, and it was awkward because it was obvious they were sleeping together.”
It’s clear that Blige feels betrayed by both Isaacs and Starshell. Blige recently told Power 105.1’s Angie Martinez Show that she will never get married again. Mary also reveals that she “knew in her heart” that Isaacs was cheating on her and says that he subjected her to “overwhelming disrespect.” Given the circumstances, it is small wonder that Blige’s 2017 album, Strength Of A Woman, signals an emotional release.
Mary J. Blige New Album Advocates Breaking Free
You can’t escape the fact that Mary J. Blige digs deep into her own life experiences when she writes her music. No subject seems to be off limits, 2011’s Behind the Music dealt with toxic relationships that led Blige into a spiral of self-medication with prescriptions drugs. Back in 2013, Blige told L.A. Confidential that being molested as a 5-year-old child had led her to depression, self-loathing and eventually to addiction to alcohol and drugs. Blige was famously high on cocaine when she accepted her first Grammy award way back in 1995.
Blige revealed that her song, “No More Drama” was an exercise in “exorcising her demons,” but it was Whitney Houston’s death that gave her the strength to deal with her addictions. Strength Of A Woman builds on that sense of breaking free, whether it be from drink, drugs, or being at the center of a love-triangle with Isaacs and her protégé, Starshell.
Blige’s songs are a form of self-therapy, but her experiences reach beyond her own psyche. Mary’s fans identify with the hurt, they translate to their own experiences, and for many, Blige gives them the strength to carry on, to break through the hurt, and to emerge from the other side, damaged, but surviving. What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger is Blige’s message on Strength Of A Woman.
According to The Muse, Blige once again acts as “her own therapist and a distant ear to the brokenhearted” on Strength Of A Woman. The key, however, is that Blige doesn’t wallow in self-pity, she deals with things as they are, and she comes through the other side. That is not to say that Blige is not embittered by the experience, on “Thank You” and “It’s Me,” Blige directly confronts her husband’s infidelity and the betrayal by a younger woman who she mentored and treated as a protégé.
Strength Of A Woman once again shows that Mary J. Blige can ride the most bitter of blows and that she finds catharsis in sharing her darkest experiences with the world. Blige’s experiences, told through the medium of her voice, tell the world that after the darkness comes the light.
[Featured Image by Alan Ewart/Inquisitr]