Mary J. Blige turned 50 this week and she celebrated in style.
The nine-time Grammy winner rung in her Jan. 11 birthday from a mysterious tropical location, where she posed in a gold metallic bikini and an off-the-shoulder evening gown that left little to the imagination.
“I have to thank everyone for the overwhelming amount of love sent my way for this milestone birthday,” the “Real Love” singer wrote on Instagram Thursday. “Words can’t really express how much I appreciate you ALL! May God continue to protect you and yours, and bless you with all your wants, needs, and desires.”
Blige was feted with a virtual celebration thrown by MeToo founder Tarana Burke, Yaba Blay of the #ProfessionalBlackGirl movement, Syreeta Gates, who created The Gates Preserve to archive hiphop culture and writer-editor Karen Good Marable. Their website To Mary With Love, is dedicated to Blige’s “living testimony” and features loving voicemails from rappers Common and Method Man, Nas, Missy Elliott, along with written “love letters” and a slideshow of Blige’s love for thigh-high boots. The group also launched #ToMaryWithLove to prolong the festivities on social media.
“MaryJFly,” she captioned another image of herself popping her hip on a sandy beach.
Blige, who appeared solo in the photos, is recently divorced from producer Kendu Isaacs, whom she married in 2003. She filed for divorce in 2016, citing irreconcilable differences and requested the court to deny Isaacs $110,000 per month in spousal support. In court documents obtained by People in 2017, Blige stated, “I am not responsible for supporting [Martin’s] parents and his children from another relationship which he lists as ongoing monthly expenses” and claimed he spent more than $420,000 on “travel charges” for a girlfriend.
The exes don’t appear to be on pleasant terms — in October, Blige told Self that despite initially praising Issacs for helping her overcome a drug addiction and depression, the credit was given in haste.
“Well, when I look back, I see that we all want what we want. And we want it to be the way we want it to be,” she told the magazine. “I wanted a savior. I’d been hurting so long, and so much, and so bad.” She added, “he did not deserve that credit.”
Blige also told Self that drugs and alcohol was a smokescreen “to cover up what’s really going on inside” adding, “You’re taking drugs so you can go out and feel courageous, or go out and feel beautiful or whatever. You’re doing it to cover up something.” The singer also refused professional help, instead choosing to cope on her own.
The singer revisited her divorce in December during the Facebook Watch show Peace of Mind with Taraji P. Henson.
“It gets lonely and it gets sad,” said Blige adding, “..I'd rather be myself than to keep making the same mistakes over and over again.”
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