The Queen of Hip Hop Soul Mary J. Blige will present the second annual Strength Of A Woman Festival in Atlanta during Mother’s Day weekend. Legendary R&B group Jodeci is part of the concert lineup too.
Mary J. Blige and Jodeci were once two of the flagship acts on the late Andre Harrell’s Uptown Records. That 1990s-era music label also helped launch the career of Hip Hop billionaire Sean “Diddy” Combs.
When Blige and the members of Jodeci perform inside Atlanta’s State Farm Arena on May 12, it will be the first time the Platinum-selling Uptown Records originals shared the same stage in over thirty years.
The 1990s R&B Icons Worked Together On Multiple Occasions
“At the end of the day, Jodeci and Mary J. Blige, we’re a family, and we helped each other in a lot of ways,” said MJB in an interview with V-103 on Audacy. “Me and [Jodeci member Joel “JoJo” Hailey] wrote some songs together, and he sang background.”
Mary J. Blige also told V-103’s The Big Tigger Morning Show, “So regardless of whatever our little beef was back in the day, we were young, but now we’re all grown. At the end of the day, I’m a fan of Jodeci. We realize how important we are to each other, so it was beautiful to see them.”
Jodeci lead singer Cedric “K-Ci” Hailey was featured on Mary J. Blige’s “I Don’t Want to Do Anything” off 1992’s What’s the 411? studio LP. Jodeci’s Donald “DeVante Swing” DeGrate produced and co-wrote that track. Plus, JoJo and K-Ci penned songs on Blige’s sophomore album My Life.
Both Mary J. Blige & Jodeci Left Their Respective Marks On The Billboard Charts
Mary J. Blige also dated K-Ci for several years. The 9-time Grammy Award winner’s alleged toxic relationship with K-Ci partly inspired the themes of depression and abuse addressed on My Life. Blige admits she was in a “vulnerable, horrible state of mind” at the time.
In addition to My Life, which peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 chart, Mary J. Blige’s discography includes the No. 1 albums Share My World, Love & Life, The Breakthrough, and Growing Pains. She earned a No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Family Affair” in 2001.
Jodeci released three studio albums between 1991 and 1995 – Forever My Lady, Diary of a Mad Band, and The Show, The After Party, The Hotel. All three Uptown Records-backed efforts peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The Past, The Present, The Future arrived in 2015.