Mary Jane Blige (/blaɪʒ/; born January 11, 1971) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and philanthropist. Her career began in 1989 when she signed to Uptown Records, becoming the youngest and first female artist on the label. She has released 13 studio albums, eight of which have achieved multi-platinum worldwide sales. Blige has sold over 80 million records, has won nine Grammy Awards, four American Music Awards, twelve Billboard Music Awards and has also received three Golden Globe Award nominations, including one for her supporting role in the film Mudbound (2017) and another for its second original song "Mighty River" for Mudbound; she also received a nomination for the Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Song, becoming the first person nominated for acting and songwriting in the same year.
In 1992, Blige released her first album, What's the 411?. Her 1994 album My Life is among Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and Time magazine's All-Time 100 Albums. She received a Legends Award at the World Music Awards in 2006, and the Voice of Music Award from ASCAP in 2007. As of 2018, Blige has sold 80 million records worldwide. Billboard ranked Blige as the most successful female R&B/Hip-Hop artist of the past 25 years. In 2017, Billboard magazine named her 2006 song "Be Without You" as the most successful R&B/Hip-Hop song of all time, as it spent an unparalleled 15 weeks atop the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and over 75 weeks on the chart. In 2011, VH1 ranked Blige as the 80th greatest artist of all time. ln 2012, VH1 ranked Blige at number 9 in "The 100 Greatest Women in Music" list.