Celebrity News

Mary J. Blige turns her hit single into a lifetime movie

The hip-hop queen, 52, has brought one of her biggest hits, 1992’s “Real Love,” to the small screen. Entertainment Tonight reports that Blige teamed up with Lifetime to turn the song — her very first top 10 hit — into a two-part original movie for the network. She served as executive producer for both films.

The singer told the outlet that the song’s inspirational message has continued to inspire her personally over the years and that she wanted the movie to capture that.

“That’s been the strongest song in my journey. That’s what I’ve been searching for all my life — for real love and people. But then I’ve finally been working on myself and found it in myself,” she said. “Now I’m able to see that love matters and that relationship matters. Real love is important, and the strength of a woman is important; real love for myself has given me strength. So those are the inspirations.”

While Blige has been candid about her battle with drugs and alcohol in the past and has used her experiences as inspiration for her song lyrics, the Lifetime movies are based on original stories and not autobiographical.

Real Love centers on 18-year-old Kendra (played by Ajiona Alexus), a scholarship student at a historically Black college in North Carolina whose plan to balance her school and work-study duties veers off course when she enters into a relationship with her photo class partner Ben (portrayed by Da’Vinchi). She ultimately decides she must leave Ben to pursue her dreams.

In the film’s second part, named Strength of a Woman after Blige’s twelfth studio album, the story picks up more than 15 years later. Kendra is now a successful photographer and grappling with a failing marriage when Ben unexpectedly reappears in her life.
Blige also continues to work in front of the camera. She currently stars in the TV series Power Book II: Ghost, and she was nominated for a 2018 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Mudbound.

In May, the “Just Fine” singer staged the second annual Strength of Woman Festival and Summit in Atlanta. The event aims to create a space to celebrate, uplift and educate Black women. “I’m super excited because last year was bigger than what I even dreamed or imagined,” Blige told PEOPLE. “It was so successful that we’re doing it again, and I believe it’s going to touch more lives in a positive way.”

Blige admitted that, as a young girl, she really never saw women being uplifted in her own community unless it came from the example her mother set. The Grammy winner said that because of her experience, she made it her “mission in life” to give back and help others.

“Giving is a part of my life. And when I began to encourage women, I didn’t even know that I could start a movement like that,” she explained, adding that she’s dedicated herself to the fans who’ve supported her over the years.”

In 2022, Blige also became a children’s book author with Mary Can! a picture book released by HarperCollins Publishers. The book is an inspirational and motivating story about a young girl who proves that anyone can make their dreams come true if they just believe in themselves.

“I want kids to know that there are no limits to what they can accomplish,” Blige told PEOPLE about the book. “My wish is for my nieces and nephews to feel they can achieve anything they imagine. Growing up, I was constantly told that my dreams were too big, too bold, and too far out of reach. I think we need to reinforce that nothing is impossible.”

“From start to finish, this book has been my own dream — starting from just the idea, to partnering with Ashleigh Corrin and Harper Collins who helped bring Mary Can! to life, to seeing the final and finished book — I couldn’t be more excited to share this with the younger generation,” she added.

Real Love and Strength of a Woman are streaming now on Lifetime.

In other news – Beyonce looks amazing in bubblegum-pink thigh-slit dress

Beyoncé wowed fans in a glamorous pink dress that she designed on her world tour over the weekend, having supported other Black designers to mark Juneteenth. The singer-songwriter, 41, performed at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam on Sunday evening as part of her Renaissance World Tour, which launched last month.

She took to the stage in the Netherlands for her latest show on the tour, in which Beyoncé commemorated the federal holiday Juneteenth early with her fashion choices.Read More

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