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Emotions raged for Mary J. Blige at Essence


The multi-platinum, Grammy Award winning songstress opens up about her divorce during her performance at the Essence Music Festival last Saturday.

Mary J. Blige, known as the Queen of Hip Hop Soul, shut the stage down during her 75 minute set with music ranging from her very first album, What’s the 411?, to her most recent album, Strength of a Woman.

Blige performed with vibrant energy and liveliness; however, when she mentioned her separation with soon-to-be ex-husband, Kendu Isaacs, the emotions came spiraling down. The singer emphasized her selfishness in a relationship when it comes to sharing partners and informed men in the audience that “you cannot have two queens!”–referring to the issues of unfaithfulness and multiple affairs in her marriage with Isaacs. Blige went even further stating “How is it that somebody gets to cheat and destroy everybody’s life but I’ve got to pay for it? That ain’t fair!” The singer was alluding to the $30,000 she was ordered to pay for monthly spousal support.


Of 31 Grammy nominations, Blige received nine Grammy awards and released 13 studio albums. Yet, still to this day, her remake of Rose Royce’s “I’m Going Down” touches the hearts of her fans immensely. During the performance, Blige shared her pained through this song from belting out the lyrics to frog jumping up and down in her thigh-high heel boots and finishing the song with a full body lay out across the stage. My immediate thoughts were, “Someone grab a fan and pray for Mary’s ankles!” But, it didn’t take long before Blige hopped up and continued the show performing more hits from albums such as Share My World, No More Drama and ended with award-winning song “Just Fine” from Growing Pains.

Jhone White-Lucas