Mary J. Blige opened up about her public divorce from husband Kendu Isaacs during a panel at the 2017 Essence Festival.
Speaking on her new album, aptly titled, Strength of a Woman, Mary sat down with journalist Tamron Hall and spoke on how she’s managing to keep her head up during these trying times.
“The journey that got us here is that every woman can relate to a woman out there fighting for her marriage,” she began. “When I first started writing this album I was fighting for my marriage. There were a lot of layers to me peeled back for this marriage. I really thought I did [find] the love of my life.”
Mary filed for divorce from her husband of 12 years, Kendu Isaacs, in July of 2016. Since announcing that their marriage was over, their public and ongoing divorce battle has not been easy, but the 46-year-old is honest about being living in self-doubt and growing and glowing through it.
“I don’t know if people seen the last eight or five years of my life, but its been hell,” she said. “And its been ugly and its been public and its been nasty. So, in the midst of all that. And the stuff that people don’t even know about — fighting for my life, fighting for my marriage, fighting for my morals and everything — I discovered my strength. My strength, my real strength is discovered.”
In her darkest moments, Mary admits that prayer got her through it all.
“Being Mary J. Blige the celebrity is secondary and I’m a human being first and I suffer just like everyone else,” said the singer. “I believe that I wasn’t given this career or this job as a singer or this gift from God to sit down and say, ‘I’m going to suffer from the world in silence and die.’ And it’s therapeutic for me as well. So, you know, that’s why. It’s not just for me.”
As she reflected on her journey to finding her strength as a woman, she shares that, “I would tell my 15-year old self to love yourself because people are going to love who you are in the future. They are going to love you.”
And we do.
Check out a clip from Mary & Tamron’s conversation below.