Mary J. Blige caught up with her friend Angie Martinez when she stopped by her Hot 97 radio show today. The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, who will perform on “Good Morning America’s” Summer Concert Series tomorrow, spoke about the follow-up to her 1994 breakthrough album My Life, role in the musical Rock of Ages, what she’s currently she’s listening to, and announced plans to start shooting the Nina Simone biopic on October 17.
On starring in the musical Rock of Ages: She plays a gentlemen’s club owner named Justice alongside Julianne Hough, singing songs from the ’80s. The star-studded cast includes Russell Brand, Tom Cruise, and Alec Baldwin. The film will hit theaters in June.
On her upcoming album My Life II: The Journey Continues, due in November: “We’ve been [recording] for a year now and I did not want to stop until I nailed it and got what I feel people wanted to hear from Mary J. Blige. … I actually targeted every single thing in life to show people that our journey continues. We continue to live, we continue to grow, but we grow through adversity, which is our best teacher.”
On the response to her new single “25/8”: “It really moved me because sometimes you just don’t know what people want anymore and you just do what it is from your heart that you do and be optimistic. Turns out, when you do what you do from your heart, people love you.”
On her My Life II producers: Eric Hudson, Danja, Rico Love, Jerry Wonda, Swizz Beatz, Jim Jonsin, The Underdogs, and Jermaine Dupri.
On who she’s listening to right now: “I love Frank Ocean. I love Young Money. I love the Watch the Throne album.”