On CBS SUNDAY MORNING WITH CHARLES OSGOOD this past Sunday, Byron Pitts interviewed Mary J. Blige, the reigning queen of hip-hop soul.
She spoke candidly with PItts about her difficult early days, and why she’s still surprised by her life today. Following are excerpts from the interview:
On her famously honest lyrics:
MARY J BLIGE: I think what I'm trying to say is life is great. But life is not great if you don't understand that trials and tribulations will come. If you're thinking they're not gonna come, you're gonna have a hard time.
I just want to remind everybody how far we've come. You know, because everybody can get so down on themselves. And we're not perfect. We're never going to be perfect.
On her early days, when her record label sent her to etiquette class and suggested she change her name:
MARY J BLIGE: I don't know how I knew that whatever I am, which is broken and…inarticulate and I didn't know that would help people. Because I didn't know I would grow and evolve to this. But…I didn't care about taking an etiquette class.
On putting her foot down about changing her name:
MARY J BLIGE: I was like, no.
BYRON PITTS: To Mary Brown?
MARY J BLIGE: Yes. Yes. They asked me to change my name. It’s like I didn't want to get rid of anything that meant something to me. My name is all I had. That's the only thing I could-- I can identify with. And my culture.