Mary J. Blige was born in the Bronx, New York and grew up in Richmond Hill, Georgia and Yonkers, New York.
In Georgia, Blige was exposed to both music and religion in a Pentacostal Church during her time in Georgia. But after her breakout success Blige took a more hedonistic view toward life, getting so wrapped up in drugs and alcohol to that she literally thought she might die. But she credits God and Christianity for pulling her out of it and helping her to kick her addictions in 2001.
It was a major turning point in Blige’s life, and she says others noticed it:
People have noticed the change in me. They’re always saying, ‘Wow Mary, what’s your beauty regime?’ and I reply, ‘My beauty regimen is Christ.’
But maybe that was all a nice novelty and it has since worn off, because now Blige’s Born-Again Christian God seems to more fit her own vision and personality rather than her fitting Christianity’s (general) conception of what a good humble Christian person should be. She said:
My God is a God who wants me to have things. He wants me to bling. He wants me to be the hottest thing on the block. I don’t know what kind of God the rest of y’all are serving, but the God I serve says, ‘Mary, you need to be the hottest thing this year, and I’m gonna make sure you’re doing that.’
Blige is a Democrat and is not only a consistent Obama supporter, but a consistent face (and voice) at presidential events. She sang at his inauguration and, in support of his 2012 reelection campaign, at the Democratic National Convention (DNC). During the DNC, Blige defended the president against critics whose main complaint is usually that he was a do-nothing president during his first term, saying:
With the mess he was tossed, I think he did a great job. Seriously, I mean, he’s only one man.
Blige tends to lean left on social issues such as gay marriage. At the DNC, she was asked her opinion about Obama and the Democrats’ support of gay marriage legislation. She said:
I think it’s wonderful. I think people that support love, it’s amazing. It’s love.
If passed, it could shed a whole new light on Blige’s song, “It’s a Family Affair.”