Real Love, No Drama: The Music of Mary J. Blige

Hardcover | March 1, 2016

byDanny Alexander

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Mary J. Blige is an icon who represents the political consciousness of hip hop and the historical promise of soul. She is an everywoman, celebrated by Oprah Winfrey and beloved by pop music fans of all ages and races. Blige has sold over fifty million albums, won numerous Grammys, and even played at multiple White House events, as well as the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. Displaying astonishing range and versatility, she has recorded everything from Broadway standards to Led Zeppelin anthems and worked with some of popular music's greatest artists—Aretha Franklin, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Whitney Houston, Sting, U2, and Beyoncé, among them.

Real Love, No Drama: The Music of Mary J. Blige tells the story of one of the most important artists in pop music history. Danny Alexander follows the whole arc of Blige's career, from her first album, which heralded the birth of "hip hop soul," to her critically praised 2014 album, The London Sessions. He highlights the fact that Blige was part of the historically unprecedented movement of black women onto pop radio and explores how she and other women took control of their careers and used their music to give voice to women's (and men's) everyday struggles and dreams. This book adds immensely to the story of both black women artists and artists rooted in hip hop and pays tribute to a musician who, by expanding her reach and asking tough questions about how music can and should evolve, has proven herself an artistic visionary.

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From the Publisher

Mary J. Blige is an icon who represents the political consciousness of hip hop and the historical promise of soul. She is an everywoman, celebrated by Oprah Winfrey and beloved by pop music fans of all ages and races. Blige has sold over fifty million albums, won numerous Grammys, and even played at multiple White House events, as well...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 8.77 × 5.81 × 0.86 inPublished:March 1, 2016Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292759436

ISBN - 13:9780292759435

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

  • 1. The Artist of a Generation
  • 2. The Slow Bomb
  • 3. Ladies, Ladies, It Is Our Turn
  • 4. Uptown
  • 5. What’s the 411?
  • 6. Changes I’ve Been Going Through
  • 7. Hip Hop a Go-Go
  • 8. My Life
  • 9. Natural Woman
  • 10. Share My World
  • 11. On the Road with MJB: Alyson Williams
  • 12. The Tour
  • 13. Sisters in the Studio: Channette and Channoah Higgens
  • 14. Mary, the Album
  • 15. No More Drama
  • 16. Love & Life
  • 17. Live from Los Angeles
  • 18. Message in Our Music
  • 19. The Breakthrough
  • 20. Growing Pains
  • 21. Stronger with Each Tear
  • 22. Hard Times Come Again No More
  • 23. My Life II . . . The Journey Continues (Act 1)
  • 24. A Mary Christmas
  • 25. Think Like a Man Too
  • 26. The London Sessions
  • 27. Being with You
  • Selected Discography
  • Acknowledgments

Editorial Reviews

"Real Love, No Drama is a marvelous telling of Mary J. Blige’s story, as well as a reflection of the many years Danny Alexander has spent studying, analyzing, and, above all, enjoying pop music made by female performers. To trace its evolution through Salt’n’Pepa to Mary J. Blige is a journey not many have had the instinct—or the acuity about race, in particular—to take. This book shows us the glory and the problems associated with living, for the first time in memory, in a pop world where women are the dominant voices." - Dave Marsh, host of Sirius XM’s Kick Out the Jams and author of The Heart of Rock & Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made