Mary Jane Blige, 11 January 1971, the Bronx, New York, New York City, USA. Blige was signed to Uptown Records by their head of A&R, Sean Puffy Combs. After being promoted by her record company as The original queen of hip-hop and soul, her 1992 debut album sold over two million copies (many of the best songs being written for her by POV). The hip-hop quotient was represented by bass-driven rhythms, the soul stylings including her affecting voice. Guest appearances from rappers Grand Puba and Busta Rhymes were merely bonuses on this accomplished piece of work, which spawned the hit singles You Remind Me and Real Love. When she journeyed to England for live shows in 1993 she was widely criticised for overpricing a set that was merely six songs long, but quality rather than quantity remains the keynote to Bliges career. The following years My Life was an edgy, raw set that dealt with the break-up of her...
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