In 2019, Mary J. Blige’s iconic sophomore album, My Life turned 25-years old. In commemoration of the 1994 instant classic that had such a soul-level impact on Black America, the Queen decided to film a documentary detailing why so many of us felt seen.
At an exclusive screening in Atlanta, hosted by Kenny Burns on behalf of radio station V-103, select fans were treated to an exclusive preview of the highly anticipated film, produced by Mary J. Blige, herself, along with Sean Love Combs and Ashaunna Ayars. Upon entrance, the guests were greeted with hors d’oeuvres and select cocktails featuring Mary’s signature Sun Goddess wine fused with Summer Citrus Ciroc to create a themed drink fit for the night aptly dubbed “Ciroc Summer Solstice.”
The “sun” was a theme seen throughout the evening and even in the film. Opening with the acapella vocals of her most raw and emotional song on the album, the title track “My Life”, before transitioning into the original soulful sample from Roy Ayers, “In the Sunshine” as Mary explains why that song was so important to her and how it helped her mentally escape what she was going through.
“When I was little, my mom used to play Roy Ayers loud, and all I could remember hearing was, “my life, my life, my life, my life in the sunshine,” over and over again and I knew that if I could just get to the sunshine my family and I wouldn’t have to go through the sh-t we were going through,” Mary said in the film.
The emotional yet healing documentary features Mary revealing personal details about her relationship with K-Ci. of Jodeci, while also touching on her own mental state at the time of recording the album felt around the world.
“At the time when everyone was seeing all of these great things in me, I couldn’t see them in myself,” Mary said. “So there was a lot of insecurities at that time from my childhood and things I experienced that people are feeling through those words. There are still songs I can’t listen to today because I know where I was when I sang it.”
While Mary J. Blige reveals that she is currently at a place in her life where she can finally say she’s happy, it wasn’t an easy road. During an interview with Kenny Burns on The Kenny Burns Show, Blige explained that a lot of the trauma she experienced leading up to her iconic album, she only most recently healed from more than 25 years later.
“I hope [fans] enjoy the journey because it was something,” Mary said. “Even after the ‘My Life’ album I was going through all types of hell, right up until recently, so this documentary shows where it all came from and why it was so much pain, and why it’s taken so long to heal. [I’m] still in the healing process, but healing. Still trying to keep the negative thoughts out of my mind and get rid of the stinking thinking and still growing. So my hope is that it shows people that you can do it too.”
‘My Life’ documentary officially releases on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, June 25, check out the trailer below.