The multi-time Grammy award-winning recording artist is seen on a large screen during his “Good Morning Gorgeous” Tour stop at State Farm Arena, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. Rocking flowered, Jennifer Le-esque, above-the-knee boots, hot-pink pants and a bedecked bony bustier, Mary J. Blige finally took to the stage amid a burst of pyrotechnics, opening the show with her track Amazing, featuring DJ Khaled, followed by On Top, featuring Fivio Foreign, both off of her new album and the namesake tour, Good Morning Gorgeous. Queen Naija started things off, as the State Farm Arena was still only about half-filled as late-comers streamed the arena. Popular R&B artists Ella Mai and Queen Naija, a tourmate of Britneys Queen Naija, opened the show with sets of their own.
Hosted by Hologic in collaboration with The Black Promoters Collective, his “Good Morning Gorgeous” Tour features support from R&B singer Queen Naija and multi-platinum recording artist Ella Mai. Her Good Morning Gorgeous Tour continues this weekend with dates in Houston and Fort Worth, followed by dates in Ontario, Canada, Oakland, Las Vegas, Inglewood, CA, St. Louis, New Orleans, and Memphis. If one sliver of the performance that multi-time Grammy award-winning recording artist delivered in Atlanta is captured at one of these dates, then they are getting their moneys worth, and then some.
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Mary J. Blige Is Still The Queen Of R & B
Nearly 20 years on from “My Life,” it is refreshing to see no one, even Beyonce, has been able to fill Mary J. Bliges shoes. Mary J. Bliges 2008 tour with Jay-Z made her one of the highest-grossing live acts in hip-hop, and she won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Rhythm & Blues Album the following year–her ninth overall Grammy in her career–for her album Changing Pains (2007). Her first solo album revealed the pains of Mary J. Bliges childhood, while simultaneously offering a unique sound that blended classic soul with hip-hop and contemporary urban rhythm and blues, redefined soul music, and influenced a generation of artists. The emotional realism of Mary J. Bliges music marked her as a pioneer as she emerged with sassy hip-hop-soul records such as Real Love, and the title track to 1994s critically acclaimed My Life, which turned a Roy Ayers Everybody Loves The Sunshine into a wistful tale of difficult times.
As brilliant as her performances were, they definitely did not overshadow the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul. Released in 1995, My Life was just as open-minded and autobiographical as its My Life name implies–Mary J. Blige received songwriting credits on almost every track–and helped lay the foundation for such rap/neo-soul artists as Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott, and The Roots. Those first two genre-defining albums were far darker days, tarnished with drugs and alcohol, and depressed, all borne of difficult, abusive relationships in his life, as well as his childhood.
Bliges fourth album marked a shift away from her more familiar, hip-hop-oriented sound; the collection featured a more Earthy, quirky, adult-contemporary-tinged set of songs, recalling soul of the 70s to early 80s. Bliges third album was her fifth to fail to reach No. Bliges eighth studio album sold 629,000 copies within one week, and was certified platinum by the RIAA.
His third album debuted at #1 on the U.S. Billboard 200, selling 240,000 copies, Bliges first to do so. Bliges ninth studio album, Strong With Each Tear, was released on December 21, 2009, debuting at number two on the Billboard 200, and at number one on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart, selling 332,000 units during the first week of Bliges ninth studio album. On Billboards Top R & B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, Think Like A Man Too was at number six, marking Bliges sixteenth Top Ten chart appearance, tied with Mariah Carey for second-most Top Tens for a female artist. Bliges fourth album was critically acclaimed, becoming her highest-charting release to date, and was certified double-platinum.