Nine time Grammy Award Winner Mary J. Blige performed at an intimate iHeartRadio Album Release Party at the iHeartRadio Theatre presented by P.C. Richard & Son on Dec 2.
Her thirteenth album, “The London Sessions,” was released on the same day and she participated in an exclusive Q&A with Power 105.1’s Angie Martinez and sang a mixture of new and old material. Prior to its release, the album had received a lot of buzz from her collaborations with Disclosure, Naughty Boy, Emeli Sande and Sam Smith. Critics have hailed this album as one of her best works.
The show started promptly at 7pm and Mary J. Blige stepped out in classic black leather pants and a white top, paired with hoop earrings and six-inch heeled boots. She started the show with a song from her debut studio album, which is also her first top ten pop hit “Real Love.” As she sang, it was clear why she is called the queen of Hip Hop and Soul. She sang with such ease and connoted with emotion that connected with the audience. The audience was moving along and singing to every word, “Real love, I’m searching for the real love, someone to set my heart free.” Afterwards, she took the time to thank her fans for helping her become who she is and the room erupted with screams of, ‘I love you’ and ‘You’re the best’.
Afterwards, she sang a song from her new album called “Doubt.” The song’s style is rooted in gospel and Mary J Blige strutted across the stage as she proclaimed, “I’d do it all again, cause I made it to the top, but I can’t keep doubting myself anymore.” This piano driven track boosted the crowd’s energy and no doubt will be an anthem for those who are looking for strength amidst difficult times. Then she sang another song from her album, “Therapy,” which was co-written with Sam Smith. She took center stage and sang to the audience, looking at each individual as if she was singing to them one-on-one. It’s clearly a standout track for its throwback production and you can hear influences from the late great Amy Winehouse.
She then put away the mic-stand as she sang a third song from her new album called “Right Now.” Disclosure’s style is evident in this song with the heavy beats and synth sounds but this song also shows Mary J Blige’s vocal ability, as her voice work in any genre. The audience was grooving with her as she owned the stage. She definitely achieved a new sound with this album. She then sang her first ever number one single “Family Affair” and closed the night with “Just Fine.” The crowd was ecstatic and sang along to, “Just fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, ooooh You see I wouldn’t change my life, my life’s just fine”, closing the night on a perfect note.
Mary J. Blige ‘The London Sessions’ Tracklist
3. ‘Not Loving You’
4. ‘When You’re Gone’
5. ‘Right Now’
6. ‘My Loving’
7. ‘Long Hard Look’
8. ‘Whole Damn Year’
9. ‘Nobody But You’
10. ‘Pick Me Up’
12. ‘Worth My Time’