Mary J. Blige has been on tour throughout the holidays. The legendary diva took the stage in Jacksonville, Florida, for a pre- New Year’s Eve celebration with Queen Naija and K. Michelle. While music critics have suggested rhythm and blues is missing from today’s musical landscape, this tour proves the genre is indeed alive and well. All three ladies have created loyal fan bases built from their ability to transcribe their personal pain into powerful messaging through their music.
K. Michelle opened the show with her signature breakup songs reminding women not to sacrifice their God-given power for fake love. Queen Naija followed with an assortment of ballads celebrating love lost and restored, but the audience was clearly anxious for the headliner. “I know you want to save your phone battery for Mary, but turn the lights on for me. Let’s light this place up,” Queen Naija urged for her final song, “Butterfly.”
Blige has been known for connecting with fans in a way unlike any other largely because of her consistant transparency in her music. “Yes, y’all I’m single right now and I’ll stay single until something better comes along,” Blige teased the crowed.
Her show consisted of inspirational messages and nostalgic images from Blige’s stellar career. The entire audience at Vystar Memorial Arena sang along with Blige’s famous lyrics on heartbreak and the desire for happiness. “After all I’ve been through the goal was not for me to come out bitter; it’s all made me better,” Blige said.
Blige delivered some words of advice for anyone in the audience looking to embrace a more positive and successful 2023. “Honestly, the only thing that’s gonna fix your life once and for all is you truly learning how to love yourself,” Blige advised.