Mary J. Blige Hints at Final Album

Mary J. Blige has released 14 albums over her illustrious career, which launched with 1992’s What’s the 411? The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul’s upcoming 15th LP may be her final.

In a recent interview with People, Blige revealed she is working on new music. “I’m actually in the studio right now recording more music, and I’m having fun,” Blige told People. “I’m having fun no matter what happens.”

When asked what’s inspiring her creatively, Blige shared, “I believe in love for myself, love for life, love for happiness, love for God, love for peace. Know that life is full of ups and downs, and roll with the punches because life is important.”

Blige also confirmed the music she is working on is for her 15th studio album. “It’s probably my last studio album,” she noted.

Mary J. Blige. (Photo Credit: Will Sterling)

In January, Blige shared that she was working on a project, though she hadn’t confirmed it to be an album then. She described the body of work as “something nice for my fans.”

Blige also noted that the album was slated for a summer release and would contain “Gone Forever,” a previously released song featuring Remy Ma. She has not announced a release date for the project yet.

Here is a recap of Blige’s previous studio albums (see how we rank Blige’s albums here): 

News of Blige’s potential final studio album comes nearly two years after hinting at an approaching retirement. In a 2022 interview with The Breakfast Club, Blige reflected on the then-current chapter of her career. “Amazing. Something I never even dreamed more than I could hope for, more than I can dream for,” said Blige, a week after performing at the Super Bowl.

Blige continued, “A lot of consistent hard work on self, how I treat myself, and how I treat everyone else. And a lot of work just on the business and building the business and keeping the legacy, you know, just making everything where one day when I retire, which will probably be soon, I’ll be straight.”

mary j blige strength of a woman hbcu scholarship
Mary J. Blige. (Courtesy of Strength of a Woman Festival)

In February 2022, Dr. Dre told TMZ he was working on music with Blige. “Mary came back here to the house last night, and we went downstairs to the studio, and she was playing me samples and vibing out because we’re talking about working together on her next project,” Dr. Dre shared. There have been no additional details available from Blige nor Dr. Dre about his project at this time.

Blige last released an album over two years ago. Her 14th LP, Good Morning Gorgeous, included the D’Mile and H.E.R.-produced title track. The affirming anthem reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult R&B Airplay, tallying Blige’s seventh chart-topper at the time. (Blige achieved her eighth No. 1 on the Adult R&B Airplay chart in February with “Still Believe in Love.” The Vado-assisted track spent eight weeks atop the chart.)

Blige released Good Morning Gorgeous on Feb. 11, 2022, two days before her Emmy-winning Super Bowl performance with Dr. Dre, Eminem, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, and Kendrick Lamar. 

Good Morning Gorgeous debuted at No. 4 on Billboard’s Top R&B Albums, securing Blige her fifth top 5 album since the chart launched in 2012. The album featured Usher, Anderson .Paak, Cool & Dre, Fivio Foreign, Dave East, and DJ Khaled.

Mary J Blige new album Good Morning Gorgeous artwork
Mary Jane Productions/300 Entertainment

On May 6, 2022, Blige released Good Morning Gorgeous (Deluxe), which included additional features from H.E.R., Ne-Yo, Jadakiss, Moneybagg Yo, Fabolous, and more. The deluxe edition scored Blige six nominations at the 65th Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, Best R&B Album, Best R&B Performance (“Here With Me“), Best R&B Song (“Good Morning Gorgeous“), Best Traditional R&B Performance (“Good Morning Gorgeous”), and Record of the Year (“Good Morning Gorgeous”). 

In other Blige news, her third annual Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit takes place May 10 through May 12 in New York City. The three-day affair will feature a comedy show, a concert headlined by Blige, a Mother’s Day brunch, and more.