Q & Andy: Mary J. Blige


In the years since she brought the ruckus with the R&B classic What’s the 411? in 1992—produced by Sean “Puffy” Combs—all Mary J. Blige has done is make one of the greatest pop albums of all time (My Life, 1994), become a powerful enabler of women making their way in a man’s world, and stuff the dance-club catalog with dozens of classics. With two more well-received albums in 2014 (The London Sessions and the soundtrack to Think Like a Man Too), Blige, 44, is now and forever the undisputed queen of hip-hop soul, at the vanguard for the gloriously dancey union of hip-hop and R&B, and a model for so many of today’s fierce, feminist stars. Here she took a moment to chat with Andy.

ANDY WARHOL: What did you eat for breakfast?

MARY J. BLIGE: Scrambled eggs with turkey bacon and wheat toast.

WARHOL: How were you discovered?

BLIGE: I made a tape at a karaoke machine at the mall. My stepdad gave it to an artist who was already signed to Uptown Records.

WARHOL: What was your first job?

BLIGE: Alexander’s Department Store on Central Avenue in Yonkers, New York. I folded clothes.

WARHOL: What’s the craziest thing a fan has sent you?

BLIGE: A picture of my name and face tattooed all over their body.

WARHOL: Is there anything you regret not doing?

BLIGE: No regrets at all.

WARHOL: When do you get nervous?

BLIGE: When I’m not prepared.

WARHOL: What’s your favorite color?

BLIGE: I love earth tones.

WARHOL: Do you keep a diary?

BLIGE: I used to but I stopped because I don’t every want anyone to find it.

WARHOL: Do you get depressed if you don’t work?

BLIGE: I wouldn’t say depressed, just a little impatient.

WARHOL: Have you ever been to the White House?

BLIGE: Absolutely. Three times to be exact.

WARHOL: Do you think that it is vanity to worry so much about what you look like?

BLIGE: It can become vanity if that’s all your concerned about.

WARHOL: What do you think about love?

BLIGE: Love is wonderful, amazing, and the best thing that can happen to us.