Mary J. Blige opened up about her past struggles with drugs and alcohol on a recent episode of The Wendy Williams Show.
Mary spent most of her adult life struggling with alcohol and cocaine, until she met her future husband Kendu Isaacs in 2002. She’s been completely sober — alcohol was the hardest drug for her to kick — for two years. Surprisingly, Mary has never spent a day in rehab, a feat she credits to being “real” with herself.
“I’m real with myself,” she told Wendy on the December 2 show. “I do the hard stuff first. I pray, and I really look at what I need to do to take responsibility and that’s the hard part, when you at what you’re doing wrong. I think that’s why people want to go see a doctor, to be able to get to the part where they say, ‘It’s me. I’m responsible for this.’ So I’m not afraid to say that. You’ll be stuck in denial if you don’t do that.”
The R&B legend just released her 13th studio album, The London Sessions, which she recorded entirely in London. While across the pond, Mary collaborated with “Stay With Me” crooner Sam Smith and even met up with Amy Winehouse’s father Mitch. Despite never having met Amy, Mary said she always felt connected to the late British singer, who died tragically from alcohol intoxication in 2011.
“I wanted to give her a hug and tell her how much I love her, and how much people love her,” Mary told the Observer. “Just tell her how awesome and amazing I thought she was… She had a lot of pain, a lot of joy, a lot of struggle, trying to figure out ‘Who am I’? And she was just so free in her expression. She said whatever she wanted to say – and that’s what I admired about her. She was talking to you: ‘It is what it is – like it or not.’”
She added: “It was like [Mitch] gave me the chance to hug her through him. He gave the best hug! But it was sad, too, because it was the anniversary [of Amy’s death]. But I watched him be strong and try to tell it and hold back tears, and I was holding back tears.”
For more scoop on Mary’s meeting with Mitch and what she has planned for her and Kendu’s 12th wedding anniversary, watch Mary’s full interview with Wendy Williams below.