Will We Ever Get A Mary J. Blige and Keyshia Cole Collaboration? Probably Not

Mary J. Blige and Keyshia Cole are two of the most respected voices in modern music.

Mary helped pioneer the hip-hop soul genre, and Keyshia carried the baton for years. While people have hoped for their paths to cross for a while, the two divas have never actually done a song together despite sonically being very similar. Keyshia has opened up about how Mary has turned down her attempts to collaborate several times over the years. 

Mary J. Blige has been about empowering women since the start of her career. Not only has she made songs championing her womanhood and helping tell the stories of others, but she has also collaborated with some of the most iconic women in music. She sang backgrounds on Faith Evans’s debut single “Soon As I Get Home” before gracing the Divas Live stage with the likes of Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, and Patti Labelle. 

Mary has done duets with some of the greatest female vocalists of all time, so she is prone to duets. She has sung on songs with Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Beyonce, Missy Elliot, and more. Despite making space for all of these women, she’s never made space for Keyshia Cole, despite Cole being, for many, the closest thing to Mary since Mary’s debut. 

Keyshia agrees and has sung Mary’s praises, appearing in pictures with the icon. Unfortunately, she has not been able to track Mary down for a collaboration. “I ain’t gonna lie. I was so happy Mary even let me open up for her at a show that she had in Miami,” she said in a 2020 interview with Jason Lee.

Keyshia said she was pushing especially hard during the “height” of her career, around the time Blige was experiencing a peak. The duo was just never able to lock in on a song. Keyshia has covered a Mary J Blige song, though, “I Love You,” from 1994’s My Life. 

Keyshia says that she revisited the idea with Mary a few years ago and got no real response from her hero. “I asked her this last time, and she said, ‘I don’t…I don’t know.’ And I was just like…’ hmm?'” Mary eventually asked her if she’d prefer her lie, and Keyshia admitted she preferred the truth but was still sad about the whole thing. Prior to this, Keyshia was critical of Mary not taking her “under her wing,” even raising speculation that they were beefing during a stop at 106 & Park. She has since forgiven MJB and moved on. 

Keyshia has several high-profile duets to her credit as well. She famously collaborated with Monica on “Trust” and has duets with Faith Evans and Ashanti. Unfortunately, a collaboration with Kehlani went south after the pair disagreed on the mix of 2019’s “All Me.” Keyshia Cole was reportedly not happy with her vocal performance and did not like the way she looked in the video, so they had to pull her scenes. 

Meanwhile, Mary has continued to add new talent to her duet list, most recently including H.E.R on a remix of her Grammy-nominated single “Good Morning Gorgeous” and taking Ella Mae and Queen Najia on tour with her. 

About John Davidson

John Davidson is a California native who enjoys hip hop music, skiing and traveling international. Davidson graduated from USC majoring in Journalism.

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