Mary J. Blige Is A Double-Threat. Her Acting & Voice Earn Her 2 Oscar Nominations
Less than one month into 2018, and it appears to be a milestone year for Mary J. Blige. The New York native songstress already received a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, with a presentation by Diddy. This took place on the “Family Affair” singer’s 47th birthday, January 11. This morning (January 23), M.J.B. learned that she may earn as many as two Oscar awards to join her nine Grammy statues. The songstress who memorably declared “No More Drama” is receiving the highest honors for showing her talents in the dramatic field.
In last year’s Mudbound, Mary portrayed “Florence Jackson.” That performance has earned Blige a “Best Actress In A Support Role” nomination for the 90th Academy Awards. She will compete against past category winner Octavia Spencer (The Shape Of Water), as well as Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread), Allison Janney (I, Tonya), and Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird). Mary is the only actor from Mudbound to be nominated. The novel-adaptation received nominations for its screenplay and cinematography.
“It’s not a game for me. It’s not, ‘Give Mary J. Blige a role, and because she’s a singer, she can play games with it.’ There’s too many women that have paved the way, like Queen Latifah, and [Taraji P. Henson], and all of those really strong women. I don’t ever want to insult them by not taking the craft seriously,” Mary told The New York Times of her accolades coming in for the 2017 role. Looking at the role, she added, “[‘Florence Jackson’] was a place for me to just give everything that I was dealing with to. I was dealing with my own personal pain. I was really suffering. This was the place to just rest all this pain, and rest all of this confusion, but still at the same time trying to be a strong woman.” In the last year, the Queen of Hip-Hop-R&B opened up to media about her divorce and painful past, including abuse and addiction.
Mary J. Blige is also nominated for “Best Original Song.” Her song “Mighty River,” a collaboration with Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson appeared on the Netflix Studios film soundtrack. Notably, she will compete against “Come Close” collaborator Common. The past Oscar-winner co-wrote Marshall‘s “Stand Up For Something” with Andra Day. Also in the category nominations are songs from Call Me By Your Name, Coco, and The Greatest Showman.
Blige’s acting career dates back to 2001’s Prison Song, appearing opposite (film co-writer) Q-Tip in the Robert DeNiro co-production. She since appeared in Musical Comedy Rock Of Ages, Musical Drama Black Nativity, and Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself.
Last year, M.J.B. released her 13th album Strength Of A Woman, featuring Missy Elliott, Kanye West, and KAYTRANADA.
The 90th Academy Awards will broadcast live on Sunday, March 4 from Hollywood, California’s Dolby Theater
Photo by D’Andre Michael.