Mary J. Blige is rising above the negativity in the days after her show-stopping Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show performance.
Blige—who took the stage alongside Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, and Eminem—said the gig was one of the best moments of her life and was “up there” with her performance at Barack Obama’s inauguration.
“I was nervous until I got on the stage,” she told Ebro Darden around the 11-minute mark. “I was nervous in all the rehearsals—everybody was nervous. Everyone. But that was a huge moment.”
Ebro went on to ask Blige about some of the controversy surrounding the halftime show. A number of conservative viewers had expressed disappointment and outrage over the hip-hop-oriented event, with some viewers claiming it was too sexual and provocative for family audiences.
“There’s definitely an energy around people feeling as if the performance at halftime was somehow, uh, it was too raunchy, or it was too real,” Ebro told Blige around the 21-minute mark, adding, “or, ‘How did these gangster rappers get on stage?’ Have you seen that conversation at all?”
“No, I haven’t,” she responded. “That’s a small conversation compared to how huge that is. Like, hip-hop is here. It’s more than just a small thing. It’s just as big as rock ‘n’ roll right now. I don’t pay attention to all of that. I’m just paying attention to how we got raised up. Someone looked at us—well, somebody looked at [Dr.] Dre and said, ‘We need you.’ And Dre looked at me and said, ‘I want you.’ And so on and so forth with all his friends. So, I really don’t care about [the backlash].”
During the halftime show, Blige treated fans to performances of “A Family Affair” and “No More Drama.” The 51-year-old Bronx native wowed viewers with her crystal bodysuit and thigh-high boots designed by Peter Dundas.
Days before the halftime show, Blige opened up about not getting paid for the performance, which she described as an “opportunity of a lifetime.”
“Listen, you’re gonna be paid for the rest of your life off of this,” she told The Cruz Show. “People are gonna be knocking at your doors. They don’t have to pay me, but if they was paying it would be a lot of money.”
You can check out Mary’s full interview with Ebro via YouTube above. The singer also mentions her newly released album, Good Morning Gorgeous. her acting gigs. incorporating rap into her R&B sound, and the time she received $10,000 in a paper bag to appear on Jay-Z’s “Can’t Knock the Hustle.”
If you don’t get any backlash in 2022, you aren’t doing something right!