When it comes to the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, few — if any — can hold a candle to Mary J Blige.
She’s a multi-platinum selling artist who has won countless awards and redefined the way today’s artists sing their music. Originally signed to Diddy’s Uptown Records, the music mogul also helped shape her sound and became a signature on her breakthrough album, “What’s the 411?”
The Bronx native already knew, at this point, that she wanted to be more than just a musician. So, Mary J. Blige started branching out into acting, and made her debut on “The Jamie Foxx Show.” And even in the acting world, Blige proved that she wasn’t just a flash in the pan. With her 2017 role in “Mudbound,” she became an Academy Award-nominated actress and singer/songwriter, proving that her formidable talent carries throughout the generations.
But more than anything else, Mary J. Blige knows how to get her money and mind her business. Celebrity Net Worth recently revealed that her talent, work ethic, and dedication to excellence have netted her a $20 million net worth. She also earns $300,000 a month just from her music career, which is nothing if not impressive, and her life can currently be seen on the Amazon Prime special, “Mary J. Blige’s My Life.”
Here’s what we know about how she makes her money.
Editorial note: The net worth listed in this piece is a speculative estimate drawn from a variety of online sources.
In February 2021, Mary J. Blige became a first-time nominee for the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame. Prior to that, eight of her 13 albums have received multi-platinum designations, and she has won nine Grammy Awards. But of course, her accolades don’t end there.
Film and Television
Mary J. Blige has slowly but surely transitioned into a film and television career. She’s appeared on such shows as “The Jamie Foxx Show,” “Power Book II: Ghost,” and “Empire.” And though she’s appeared in a variety of films, her true breakthrough came with her role in “Mudbound,” where she played “Florence Jackson,” and won a bevy of awards including two Hollywood Film Awards. She was also nominated for two Screen Actor’s Guild Awards, two Critic’s Choice Awards, three Golden Globes, and even two Oscars (including Best Supporting Actress).
Wines & Spirits
As AfroTech previously reported, Mary J. Blige is one of the few women in the wines & spirits industry, and she’s taking all the right steps to diversify it. The R&B singer-turned-actress and businesswoman debuted a wine called Sun Goddess Wines last year.
Now, according to Rolling Stone, Sun Goddess, an Italian wine with two varietals (so far), is part of Blige’s efforts to help diversify the notoriously monolithic wine and spirits industry. The music legend has joined forces with Reserve Bar to launch their newly-formed Spirited Change Initiative as an investor.
Other investors in the initiative include Sean “Diddy” Combs and Thirty Five Ventures, the investment firm founded by Brooklyn Nets star and newly-minted Olympic gold medalist Kevin Durant and his longtime manager, Rich Kleiman.
In 2008, Mary J. Blige paid a whopping $12.3 million for an estate located in Saddle River, NJ. In 2018, she listed — and ultimately sold — the 18,000-square-foot home at a loss, for $6.8 million.
In June 2021, Realtor.com reported that Blige put her other home — a Cresskill, NJ mansion — up for sale. As of this writing, the house is still listed. The $2.75 million home sits on 7,000-square-feet, nestled on 1.1 acres, and offers a gym, guest quarters, an office, and three fireplaces. In addition, the floor plan includes a finished basement, as well as an attached garage.
Other Business Ventures
Mary J. Blige has had endorsement deals with a variety of companies, including Reebok, Air Jordan, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Gap, Target, American Express, AT&T Inc., M·A·C, Apple Inc., Burger King, and Chevrolet.
In 2004, Mary J. Blige founded Matriarch Records, which was her own record label that distributed her music through Atlantic Records.
In 2010, Mary J. Blige launched the My Life perfume in partnership with Carol’s Daughter. The perfume line was sold exclusively through HSN, and it shattered sales records on the first day it was available.
“I’ve never done it, but it was so much fun because I have a keen sense of smell. I knew exactly what I wanted and would ask for an incense smell, a musk smell, a wood smell. I also wanted florals, but edgy florals,” she told WWD about the fragrance.
Later that same year, Mary J. Blige launched her own sunglasses line called Melodies.