Mary Jane Blige (/blaɪʒ/; born January 11, 1971) is an American singer, songwriter and actress. Her career began in 1991 when she was signed to Uptown Records. She went on to release 13 studio albums, all of which have reached the top ten on the Billboard 200 chart. Often referred to as the "Queen of Hip-Hop Soul", Blige has won nine Grammy Awards, four American Music Awards, and twelve Billboard Music Awards. She has been nominated for three Golden Globe Awards and two Academy Awards, including one for her supporting role in the film Mudbound (2017) and another for its original song "Mighty River", becoming the first person nominated for acting and songwriting in the same year.
In 1992, Blige released her debut album, What's the 411?, which is credited for introducing the mix of R&B and hip hop into mainstream pop culture, and her 1993 "What's the 411? Remix", popularized rap as a featuring act, it is the first album by a singer to have a rapper on every song. Both What's the 411? and her 1994 album My Life are featured on the Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, and the latter on Time magazine's All-Time 100 Albums.
Blige has also made a successful transition to both the television and movie screens, with supporting roles in films such as Prison Song (2001), Rock of Ages (2012), Betty and Coretta (2013), Black Nativity (2013), her Oscar and Golden Globe-nominated breakthrough performance as Florence Jackson in Mudbound (2017), Trolls World Tour (2020), Body Cam (2020), The Violent Heart (2021) and co-starring as jazz singer Dinah Washington in the Aretha Franklin biopic Respect (2021). In 2019, Blige starred as Cha-Cha on the first season of the Netflix television series The Umbrella Academy. She currently stars as Monet Tejada in the spin-off of the highly rated TV drama Power in Power Book II: Ghost.
She received a Legends Award at the World Music Awards in 2006, and the Voice of Music Award from ASCAP in 2007. Billboard ranked Blige as the most successful female R&B/Hip-Hop artist of the past 25 years. In 2017, Billboard magazine named her 2006 song "Be Without You" as the most successful R&B/Hip-Hop song of all time, as it spent an unparalleled 15 weeks atop the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and over 75 weeks on the chart. In 2011, VH1 ranked Blige as the 80th greatest artist of all time. In 2012, VH1 ranked Blige at number 9 in "The 100 Greatest Women in Music" list. In February 2021, Blige became a first-time nominee for the 2021 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A documentary film about her musical career, titled Mary J. Blige's My Life, was released on Amazon Prime Video later that year.