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Saturday, January 7, 2006

Mary J. Blige hit #1 with “Be Without You” and The Breakthrough: January 7, 2006

Originally posted January 7, 2012.



LaShonda Barnett, author of I Got Thunder: Black Women Songwriters and Their Craft, wrote that the “authenticity, the emotional honesty and the vulnerability Blige reveals in her music” SF have much to do with many people calling Blige “our generation’s Aretha Franklin.” SF Indeed, “nobody knows heartache like Mary J. knows heartache.” TL Throughout her career, Blige has delivered dramatic “songs steeped in heartbreak and disappointment.” AK

Her seventh album, The Breakthrough, “features the best round of productions Blige has been handed since the mid-‘90s.” AK “Blige and producers Dr. Dre, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, and Will.i.am tasked themselves with stirring a river of hurt into some of the highest-caliber hip-hop/soul to hit the airwaves since she burned up the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack with ‘Not Gon’ Cry’.” TL

The album’s lead single, “Be Without You”, became Blige’s biggest hit to date. It was her fifth Billboard R&B chart topper, peaking on that chart the same week The Breakthrough debuted atop the Billboard 200 album chart. “Without You” spent 15 weeks at the summit, making it the chart’s biggest hit in nearly 60 years. The last song to spend more weeks at #1 was Louis Jordan’s “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens” with 17 weeks in 1947. With a massive 75 weeks on the R&B chart, “Without You” also became the champion for most weeks total. WK

The song and album garnered Blige some Grammy gold. “Without You” won for Best R&B Song and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and was also nominated for Record and Song of the Year. The Breakthough won a Grammy for Best R&B Album.


Awards for “Be Without You”:
Awards for The Breakthrough:
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