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MARY J BLIGE FOR DURBAN (article first published : 2007-03-30)

METRO FM and Edgars Music Series are pleased to announce the upcoming tour of one of R&B/Hip Hop’s most celebrated artists. Mary J Blige is set to perform at Durban’s Westridge Park Stadium on May 13 after appearing at the Coca-Cola Dome in Johannesburg (May 12) and before heading for the Bellville Velodrome in Cape Town on May 16.

“METRO FM is proud to be associated with a legend like MJB. Mary not only records music that speaks to our audience but her life and success as a person and a performing artist represents the values we as METRO FM seek to celebrate in every woman,” said Programming Manager, Leo Manne. ”We are confident that those who will be fortunate enough to make it to the shows will have a great time with us.”

Dineo Sobantu, Sponsorship and Events Manager for the Edgars Chain, stated: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of R&B Queen, Mary J Blige’s tour of South Africa. Edgars, through the Edgars Music Series, has carved out a name for itself as a serious supporter and developer of local artists, as well as keeping on trend with amazing international acts.”

The accomplished six-time Grammy Award winning R&B, soul, and hip-hop soul singer, songwriter, producer, and actress has sold more than 34 million records worldwide. She has just completed a season sweep of the "big three" major music awards, having won the American Music Award in November 2006, the Billboard Music Awards in December 2006, and the Grammy Awards in February 2007, where she took home three awards for her last studio album, The Breakthrough.

The album, her seventh studio album, has sold more than 3 million copies, starting with 727,000 in its opening week – the highest ever for a female R&B singer. The lead single, Be Without You" ruled the R&B charts for 15 straight weeks, and the powerhouse collaboration with U2 on their classic "One" reached an even bigger audience – proving without a doubt that Blige is the pre-eminent soul singer of our time.

Blige has long been called the "Queen of Hip-Hop Soul". A bridge between the R&B world and the hip-hop nation, she pioneered the movement that would later become neo-soul, generating gripping songs that were also massive radio hits. She has the distinction of being the first to fully seize the narrative possibilities of rap: Her tough-girl persona and streetwise lyrics give her 1992 debut What's the 411? a realism and gritty undertone. She then released the more conventional R&B-ballad My Life in 1994, and the follow up, Share My World took her into the R&B mainstream, entering the Billboard charts at No.1 in 1997. Her 4th album, Mary came out in 1999, with a fuller, more elegant sound and classic soul style. The album made it obvious that the ghetto fabulous style and more confrontational aspects of her music were gone, while the emotive power still remained.

Mary then released No More Drama in 2001, and Love and Life in 2003. A greatest hits album, Reflections (A Retrospective) was released at the end of 2006. Described by the media as having a “smouldering stage presence” during her last South African concerts in April 2000, she performed to 48,000 ecstatic fans countrywide.

Known for her electrifying live performances, Mary J Blige is capable of conveying heartache and happiness in a single musical phrase. Her emotional honesty reflects the great traditions of blues and soul, and has won her countless honours and a devoted, ever-growing audience around the world. Critics and fans alike are floored by her powerful combination of modern R&B with an edgy rap.

Durban ticket prices range from R160 to R280. Book at Computicket.




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