Fresh off the announcement that she’ll be co-headlining this year’s Super Bowl with Dr. Dre, it would be not be wrong to assume that Mary J Blige is experiencing a career highlight on par with some of her other big career moments. For an artist that seems to continue to go from one strength to the next, it’s hard to imagine anyone telling Mary that she is “washed up,” however the “Real Love” hitmaker recently opened up to People Magazine and revealed that ex-husband Kendu told her just that before their split.
During an installment of their series “People Everyday,” Janine Rubenstein asked Mary about her “saving grace” music and if she ever had the urge to walk away. Mary, who is currently also the star of Power spinoff “Power Book II: Ghost,” looked pensive as she began to answer. She recalls the time she was married to Kendu Isaacs, referring to it as “that marriage,” and he told her she was done. “Yeah, there was a time when I was in that marriage that I was people told that I was done and washed up by this person.”
She goes on to say that he called her “fat and old” and that her fans were no longer interested in her music. “[He said] my fans are old, and they don’t like you no more – they don’t love you. I began to believe some of these things. That’s what this person wanted me to believe and think.”
Obviously, from her refusal to say his name Mary is still no fan of ex-husband Kendu. The pair had been married 13 years but decided to go their separate ways in 2016. It was a huge shock to Mary’s fans, who thought the singer was finally getting her ‘happily ever after’ following years of very public struggles and heartbreaks. She once confessed that he helped bring her through some of her darkest moments. Some, however, were not shocked. Many had side-eyed their relationship, feeling that Kendu was controlling and possibly using Mary. He forced her to practice abstinence until their marriage and did not allow her to have male friends.
It was eventually revealed that Kendu had possibly been cheating on Mary with a much younger woman the pair had been mentoring named Starshell. The pair shared no kids, but Blige was ordered to pay spousal support. She’s opened up over the years about the issues she experienced towards the end of their marriage, with Kendu often criticizing her and the way she looked.
When faced with this type of manipulation, she almost gave in. She told People that she truly considered throwing in the towel. Ultimately it was her fans that kept her in the game. She realized that Kendu gave her nothing so he couldn’t take anything away from her. “This person was trying to take away something that they didn’t even give me.” Mary goes on to say that fan testimonies have truly pushed her to continue and keep her head in the game. She will be taking that energy with her into next years Super Bowl where she will be joined by Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar.