Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Voice for Equality: Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige is an American recording artist, record producer, and actress. A recipient of nine Grammy Awards and many other honors, Blige has recorded eight multi-platinum albums and is known as "the queen of hip-hop soul" for blending elements of soul, funk, R&B and rap in her music. She has also made numerous television acting appearances including: The Jamie Foxx Show, Strong Medicine, Ghost Whisperer and 30 Rock. Charities she actively supports include: MAC AIDS Fund, American Association for Cancer Research and Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now, Inc. Learn more here.

On October 21, 2008, supermarket mogul, Ron Burkle, held a star-studded, no-press-allowed fund raiser in Beverly Hills to raise money to combat Prop 8 in California and secure marriage equality for gay couples. Mary J. Blige performed U2's One and two others songs at the sold-out event which had a minimum $1,000 donation requirement to attend. Blige—an outspoken gay rights supporter—was actually at the end of her tour and made a special effort to attend the fundraiser. In the end, the evening raised over $4 million for the cause. [Link] Karen Ocamb described the scene for The Bilerico Project:
The audience erupted as she [Blige] came to the stage, telling everyone she was pleased to be there - "This is what tonight is about - love." With heads bobbing, and couples clutching each other's hands...the scene looked and felt more like a secular revival than a political concert. Blige opened up about how she had survived being her own worst enemy, when no one would accept her - and "you say, 'No more pain, no more tears..." as tears started welling up in the eyes of those listening, identifying. "I chose to win!" she said, raising her fist in the air - to screams of glee and thunderous applause. "I am so sick and tired of people judging me..." This song, she said, was for all the people who felt the same. "Keep doing what you're doing," Blige said, and feel "how close we are in the universe." [Link]
Freedom to Marry salutes Mary J. Blige as a Voice for Equality! Learn about other Voices for Equality here.

If Ms. Blige's support inspires you - get involved!

**Make your NOMINATION for a Voice for Equality today.

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