In the 1990s, Mary J. Blige was the neighborhood’s hottest new R&B singer with undeniable voice and talent. For much of the ’90s, she was in a high-profile relationship with singer Jodeci K-Ci Hailey.
Mary J. Blige and K-Ci’s relationship
Mary J. Blige first met K-Ci in the early 1990s when she was recording her debut album. What is 411? K-Ci described the start of their relationship in a 2006 interview with Vibe magazine.
“We saw each other a few times at Uptown Records before exchanging our numbers,” he recalls. “I wasn’t trying to get involved at the time. When we recorded a song for her first album What is 411?, we had a lot of chemistry.
He admitted that they had slept together and quickly befriended. “We started hanging out at the studio,” he continued. “We became friends. We talked a lot. She was very open about everything. I respected her for that. She was honest. She would tell me the truth about myself. That’s what made me want to. kiss like a friend.
Mary J. Blige and K-Ci’s relationship turned violent
Blige and K-Ci started dating in 1992, but it wasn’t long before their relationship worsened and became increasingly violent behind the scenes. Blige first recounted her trauma – without explicitly naming singer Jodeci – in a 2002 interview with The Guardian.
“I was in a hell of a relationship. When you hate yourself, you attract people who hate you too, ”she said honestly. “I kept getting the same lesson over and over and finally knew there was something I needed to learn.” She revealed that there had been a time when she was even almost murdered.
Their tumultuous relationship was the backdrop for Blige’s legendary 1994 album. My life, where the Grammy-winning artist sang candidly about abuse, drug addiction and other struggles. The LP remains one of the most iconic R&B albums of all time, but she hasn’t even been able to soak up and enjoy it all because of her relationship with K-Ci.
“I couldn’t take advantage of what was going on. I couldn’t even enjoy my success, ”she lamented. “I was in a relationship where we were both young [and] both super successful. I loved him, but none of us could handle the success of our lives.
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Mary J. Blige later married Kendu Isaacs
After breaking up with K-Ci in 1997, Blige took a break from dating and focused on herself. In 2000, she met someone she would later call the love of her life and her knight in shining armor: record producer Kendu Isaacs.
Much like his relationship with K-Ci, Blige met Isaacs through work. He was a producer for Queen Latifah and suggested that Mary join a song they were working on. They developed a friendship that eventually turned romantic, and they married in an intimate ceremony in 2003.
Blige filed for divorce from Isaacs in 2016 after 12 years of marriage. According to Blige, Isaacs had used hundreds of thousands of dollars of his money to support a relationship with another woman.