Mary J. Blige is in her bag! The legendary singer is having a phenomenal weekend. Her fifteenth studio album, iGood Morning Gorgeous, was released on February 11, 2022. On top of that, the Super Bowl Half Time stage was set on fire by the legendary singer, along with Dr. Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, and 50 Cent. Knowing Mary J. Blige, her music gives an open look into where she is within her life. Recently, she held an album release party for fans, coupled with an interview portion with legendary radio personality Angie Martinez. The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul didn’t hold back when talking about one of the songs, which was inspired by her ex-husband.
Good Morning Gorgeous is Mary J. Blige’s first album on 300 Entertainment and her own production company, Mary Jane Productions. The album features a star-studded cast of artists, writers, and producers that helped to create Blige’s latest effort.
The title track was written by Blige along with Lucky Daye, H.E.R., and Tiara Thomas, and produced by D’Mile and H.E.R. Mary J. Blige tackles issues with self-doubt and a plenitude of negative thoughts that threatened to block her from seeing her beauty, both inside and out. “All the times that I hated myself. All the times that I wanted to be someone else. All the times that I should’ve been gentle with me. All the times that I should’ve been careful with me,” she admits in the song’s lyrics. However, the turnaround is that she now wakes up every morning with a positive affirmation of telling herself, “Good Morning, Gorgeous.”
Mary J. Blige spoke dove deeper with E! News about the inspiration behind the title track. Blige confessed that there were times she felt as though she was “never enough” and had to figure out a way to positively affirm herself. The word “gorgeous” came to mind. “Like when you hear the word ‘gorgeous,’ you think of Halle Berry and Apollonia, and Salli Richardson in their prime,” said the Power Book II: Ghost star. Admittedly, Blige states that she did not “believe” she was gorgeous but applied the word to herself no matter how she felt in the moment. Once she began to speak over herself in a positive manner, it helped her to “grow and move away from that negative situation.” The Grammy Award-winning singer shared that she decided to name the title after this mantra because “it was so powerful, it helped me.” According to Blige, she continues the practice consistently every morning.
Mary shared these sentiments while speaking with Angie Martinez during her iHeartRadio Album Release Party. Talking about the album on a whole and being able to remain relevant with a brand new release, 30 years into her career, Blige states that she feels “relief” and “redemption.” “I’m free,” she expressed. “I’m healing constantly. But, I know how to do it now. It’s not just about breaking down and giving up. It’s about breaking down and getting up [quickly], and keep it moving.” She continued to share that she had to strengthen and restore herself to do “better.”
Other artists that lent their talents to Mary’s fifteenth album are DJ Khaled (Amazing) and Anderson. Paak (who is featured on “Here With Me” and co-wrote two others, “No Idea” and “Love Without The Heartbreak”). Usher duets with the singer on the album’s closing track, “Need Love,” while Fivio Foreign helps Mary tap into the NY Drill sound on “On Top.” DJ Khaled joins Blige on one of the album’s singles, “Amazing,” while rapper and Wu-Tang: An American Saga star Dave East raps alongside Mary on the third single, “Rent Free.”
According to the singer, “Rent Free” was inspired by her ex-husband Kendu Isaacs, whom she was married to for 16 years. “When I first got the divorce, I had to give up all this alimony,” she confessed. Blige claims she gave all that she had until there was nothing left to give. “He spent it all,” she stated. She revealed having to go on tour to pay her alimony and that she was unable to even cover her rent at the time. But the song also served as a metaphor, as she felt she didn’t have her “soul.”
“I was very angry when I wrote that song,” said Mary J. Blige. She had every right to be, as her “con-artist” ex-husband, as she referred to him in a Variety interview) ended up taking $30,000 monthly in spousal support. During this time, Blige was also facing other financial issues as she reportedly failed to pay taxes for a few years.