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Mary J. Blige Reveals Drug-Addicted Past

The hip-hop legend says her addiction and depression stemmed from childhood abuse.

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By Ben Feuerherd

01/09/13

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Hip-hop and R&B legend Mary J. Blige has been a powerful force in the music industry for decades, winning nine Grammys and earning the title of "Queen of Hip-Hop Soul." But her shining triumphs masked a private struggle with alcohol and drug addiction and depression, she reveals to Los Angeles Confidential. The singer, 42, says her problems stemmed from being molested as a child. "It only happened once, but after that there was so much else in my childhood that happened," she says. "So many dark moments—which all added up and that's what sprung on the drug addiction, trying to numb it all with the drugs." Blige admits she was high on cocaine when she received her first Grammy award in 1995 for Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group: "When I got that Grammy I was high. Not at the Grammys I don't think. But I was drinking like a crazy person. Still sniffing cocaine going in..." She cites Whitney Houston's death from alcohol and drugs in 2011 as a factor in her motivation to get clean: "Her death is another reason I stopped. I really do think I'm done," she recalls. "I looked at how that woman could not perform anymore." Blige chose to forgo rehab, and credits her faith with helping her maintain her sobriety. "I believe that anything man himself can do for me, God can do for me in a greater way," she says. "I decided to pray and to seek God on my own. I just stayed in The Word. And it worked."

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