Mary J. Blige: I'd Be Dead If I Didn’t Get Sober

By Bryan Le 10/30/17

“I realized I was going to die if I didn’t stop drinking. If I didn’t stop doing drugs, I was going to lose my career completely.”

Mary J. Blige attends the 'The Meyerowitz Stories' screening during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 21, 2017 in Cannes, France.
Still here, enjoying food, friends, film and family.

Mary J. Blige may be a seven-time Grammy winner, and now possibly a Best Supporting Actress contender for her turn in the upcoming Netflix Mudbound, but she could have lost it all to drugs and alcohol if she hadn’t stopped using.

Early in her music career she didn’t care about contracts or if she was getting ripped off, Blige said in an interview, so long as she got her fix.

“As long as I had my supply, they could keep robbing me and telling me anything,” she revealed to Star2. “I was pretty much trusting people that weren’t trustworthy. So you wind up signing your life away and then later on you have no money and you have nothing because they steal everything from you.”

Her problem became so bad, she says, she would likely have lost her life if she kept using the way she did.

“I realized I was going to die if I didn’t stop drinking. If I didn’t stop doing drugs, I was going to lose my career completely,” she recalls.

Her then-spouse, Kendu Isaacs, tried to help her.

“My husband had come into my life at that point. He challenged me. He asked me these questions: ‘Why do you hate yourself? Why do you drink so much? Why? Why?’” she revealed. “It drove me crazy to the point where I started to ask myself those questions, and the answers were always: ‘I don’t know.’”

Her wake-up call came when pop star Aaliyah perished in an airplane crash.

“It was a wake-up call and I stopped cold turkey. I told myself I am not going to drink anymore,” she said “That accident changed my whole life completely.”

Blige has been open about her struggles with substance abuse, revealing in 2013 that her issues are rooted in being sexually abused as a child. This led to one of her lowest moments that should have been one of her best: being drunk and high on cocaine when winning her first Grammy in 1995.

Nowadays, the simple things in life keep her happy.

“I love food. I love my girlfriends. I love to laugh. I love my sisters and going to dinner with my girlfriends. I love to see my family…” she said. “What else? Shoes. I love a good pair of shoes. And just peace of mind, really being able to go home and have peace of mind.”

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix

Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter