Mary J. Blige is the reigning Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, and this weekend the diva celebrated 25 years since the release of her critically-acclaimed debut album, What’s the 411?. Released on July 28, 1992, the LP spun the hit, “Real Love,” as well as “Reminisce,” “You Remind Me,” “Love No Limit” and a remake of Chaka Khan’s “Sweet Thing.” The album, which was executive produced by a young Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs at the time, who was a former intern to then-boss Andre Harrell would go on to sell a staggering 3 million copies to date. Mary, who was a round-the-way girl from Yonkers was dating Jodeci member, K-Ci Hailey, which led to an abusive relationship and the two would soon go their separate ways.
“Wow!!!! 25 years ago when I walked into this business I had no idea what was going to happen. I just know I wanted to sing,” she tweeted. “Deep in my heart I knew I wanted to touch the lives of women and people. I’ve done that 25 years later and I’m still doing that by the grace and mercy of God on a level I never even imagined.”
The game-changing album was largely produced by Mark Morales, Mark C. Rooney, Dave Hall, DeVante Swing, and Puffy’s then hitman producer Tony Dofat and peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200. MJB’s new and 13th studio album, Strength of a Woman was released earlier this year and she recently performed at the Essence Festival in New Orleans this month.