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Mary J. Blige on 'Going Through Hell' During Her Marriage… and Surviving!

Mary J. Blige on 'Going Through Hell' During Her Marriage… and Surviving!

Singer Mary J. Blige is getting candid about her life with her new music. The Queen of Hip-Hop sat down with “Extra’s” Tracey Edmonds, opening up about her divorce and her new album “Strength of a Woman.”

Mary, who has been the subject of a cheating scandal while dealing with the end of her 13-year marriage, explained that the title of the album actually came to her when she was fighting for her marriage a few years ago. She said, “Me living through my trials… I was going through hell, my business was all over the TV, just ahhh, it was so much stuff going on. I was just very, very alone in that time. I survived that time by learning how to love myself and pulling myself out of everything, so the title 'Strength of a Woman' came from me understanding my strength as a woman, not from this divorce, the divorce stuff came later."

“I was a strong woman who had survived a bunch of B.S., who was fighting for her marriage that was in danger, nobody knew but me, that’s where the title came from,” she added.

There are songs on the album that she wrote once she filed for divorce from Kendu Isaacs, who also was her manager. “The songs you hear, like ‘Set Me Free,’ that’s from the situation.”

Though she doesn’t feel completely free yet, she emphasized, “Because I’m not through this divorce yet… but I feel free as a spirit because I took my life back and I’m moving forward with that.”

“Survivor” is another song on her new album based on her own life experience. She shared, “Yes, I am a survivor, absolutely.” Blige even collaborated with Kanye West on a song, “You Gotta Love Yourself,” gushing, “I love Kanye West. I’ve been a fan since he came on the block and I finally got a chance to work with him — he's so genius.”

Her album, accompanied by a documentary, is described as “one of the most personal. What’s her message for the album? “I hope it uplifts them. It’s okay to not be okay, sometimes to get through what you need to get through, but don’t stay there too long — there is always light at the end of the tunnel.”