“Tonight is the night we celebrate how strong we are because we’re still here,” said the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul as she addressed her subjects during her “American Express Unstaged” concert at Club Nokia in Los Angeles last night. Sparkling in a bodysuit and avant-garde blazer, Mary J. Blige reminisced as she performed her 1994 seminal album My Life in its entirety while celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, Magic Johnson, and Busta Rhymes looked on. MJB fans all over the world were able to watch the live broadcast, directed by Adam Shankman, on VEVO and YouTube.
After pouring out her emotions during “Mary’s Joint,” the teary-eyed songstress dedicated the concert to the late Heavy D. “We miss you. I’m dedicating the show to him tonight because if it wasn’t for him and Uptown Records, there would be no Mary J. Blige,” she said while singing “I Love You.”
Diddy’s voice helped introduce the next chapter in the My Life series. A phone conversation between Mary and her mentor played before Nas joined his fellow New Yorker on “Feel Inside,” their collaboration off her new album My Life II… The Journey Continues (Act I).
Following a wardrobe change, she delved into her two new singles “Mr. Wrong” and “25/8,” leaving concertgoers begging for more. They got what they asked for when she returned for the encore, serving up her classics “Family Affair” and “Be Without You,” as voted by fans in an online poll.