Mary J. Blige opened up about finding strength through her divorce from Kendu Isaacs in front of a packed room full of fans.
At the 2017 Essence Festival in New Orleans, Blige was on hand to discuss her new album, the aptly-titled “Woman Of Strength” and how she found her way out of a very dark place.
“The journey that got us here is that every woman can relate to a woman out there fighting for her marriage,” she explained. “When I first started writing this album I was fighting for my marriage. There were a lot of layers to me peeled back for this marriage. I really thought I did [find] the love of my life.”
Blige and Isaacs were married for 12 years before announcing their split in July of last year. The ongoing divorce battle has not been an easy one for the 46-year-old singer.
She spoke candidly about the last few years of her marriage leading up to the split and the “ugly” divorce proceedings.
“I don’t know if people seen the last eight or five years of my life, but it’s been hell,” she told the crowd. “And it’s been ugly and it’s been public and it’s been nasty. So, in the midst of all that. And the stuff that people don’t even know about — fighting for my life, fighting for my marriage, fighting for my morals and everything — I discovered my strength. My strength, my real strength is discovered.”
The songstress says she looked to her faith to get her through the tough times, revealing that being open about her struggles is therapeutic.
“Being Mary J. Blige the celebrity is secondary and I’m a human being first and I suffer just like everyone else,” she said. “I believe that I wasn’t given this career or this job as a singer or this gift from God to sit down and say, ‘I’m going to suffer from the world in silence and die.’ And it’s therapeutic for me as well. So, you know, that’s why. It’s not just for me.”
Blige wasn’t just in attendance at the Essence Festival to talk about her personal drama. She headlined an all-star, all-female showcase on night two of the fest. Blige herself curated the night’s performers which included Jill Scott, Chaka Khan and Monica among others.