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Mary Jane Blige (surname pronounced /ˈblaɪʒ/; born January 11, 1971), also known as Mary J. Blige, is an American singer, producer, songwriter, actress, and rapper. A recipient of 9 Grammy Awards and 4 American Music Awards. Blige has recorded eight multi-platinum albums. Blige has received the World Music Legends Award for combining hip hop and soul in the early 1990s. She was ranked number 100 in the list of 100 greatest singers of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.Blige started her musical career in 1992, releasing her multi-platinum US selling debut album, What's the 411? on MCA Records and Uptown. What's the 411? gave Blige her first Billboard 200 top ten album, which has continued since the release of her debut album until her latest album, Stronger with Each Tear (2009). Among Blige's most popular songs to date include "Family Affair", "Real Love", "Not Gon' Cry" and "Be Without You". Blige has had four Billboard Hot 100 top-singles charting in the United States, and has had a total of sixteen total top forty charting singles in the United States. She has had thirty-three singles charting inside the top one hundred on the Billboard Hot 100, making Blige one of the best-performing R&B artists to date.Despite her musical career, since 1998, Blige has also starred in various movie roles, beginning in The Jamie Foxx Show as Ola Mae. She appeared in the "Papa Don't Preach" episode, Season 2. Since then, Blige has gone on to play major roles in big-budget Hollywood movies, such as Prison Song, where she played the main role as Mrs. Butler.As of 2010, Blige has sold over 50 million albums and 15 million singles. Blige cites Anita Baker, Chaka Khan, Teena Marie, and Aretha Franklin as influences.

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