|Mary J. Blige|
Mary Jane Blige is an American singer, songwriter, model, record producer, and actress. At the start of her career, she was a background singer for Uptown Records, offering vocals for rapper Father MC. She debuted her first album, What's the 411? in 1992, and she has released 11 studio albums and has made over 150 guest appearances on other albums and studio soundtracks.
Blige made her acting debut in The Jamie Foxx Show, and made her film debut in the independent movie, Prison Song, alongside rapper Q-Tip. She has appeared in series such as Strong Medicine, Ghost Whisperer, amd more. She returned to the film industry in Tyler Perry's film adaptation of I Can Do Bad All By Myself, and appeared in the film, Rock of Ages. She portrays Angie, a former love interest for Lucious Lyon, in the FOX television series, Empire.
In 1998, Blige made her acting debut on the sitcom The Jamie Foxx Show playing a character, the apparently southern Ola Mae; a preacher's daughter who wanted to sing more than gospel music. Her father was portrayed by Ronald Isley of The Isley Brothers. In 2001, Blige starred opposite rapper Q-Tip in the independent film Prison Song. That same year, Blige made a cameo on the Lifetime network series, Strong Medicine; playing the role of Simone Fellows. Blige's character was the lead singer of a band who was sick, but would not seek treatment.
In 2000, Blige was featured in a superhero web cartoon in junction with Stan Lee. Blige used the cartoon as part of her performance while on her 2000 Mary Show Tour. In 2004, Blige starred in an Off-Broadway play, The Exonerated. The play chronicled the experiences of death row inmates. Blige portrayed Sunny Jacobs, a woman who spent 20 years in prison for a crime she did not commit. In late 2005, it was reported that Blige landed the starring role in the upcoming MTV Films biopic on American singer/pianist and civil rights activist, Nina Simone. According to IMDB.com the film will be released in 2012.
In February 2007, Blige guest-starred on Ghost Whisperer, in an episode called "Mean Ghost", as the character Jackie Boyd, the school's cheer leader coach grieving for the death of her brother and affected by the ghost of a dead cheerleader. The episode features many of Blige's songs. In August 2007, Blige was a guest star on Entourage, in the role of herself, as a client of Ari Gold's agency. In October 2007, Blige was also a guest star on America's Next Top Model, as a creative director for a photo shoot by Matthew Rolston. In May 2009, Mary made a guest appearance on 30 Rock, as an artist recording a benefit song for a kidney. Blige also had a supporting role in Tyler Perry's movie I Can Do Bad All by Myself, which was released in September 2009.