WHAT MARY J. BLIGE THINKS YOUNG WOMEN CAN LEARN FROM RIHANNA
What do you think is the biggest challenge for female artists starting out today?
I think, and it’s not the artist, but they have to fight for what they want and their identities and stuff like that. The fact [is] that everyone at these labels wants to do what everyone [else] is doing. You have to look like her; you have to be like her; you have to sing like her, and no one can express themselves. I look at Rihanna and I am so proud of her. She speaks loudly! You have to stand up and clap. She expresses herself through fashion. She actually can sing. And her songs mean something, even to me, you know?
London Sessions featured some really out-of-the-box collaborations. Are there any other artists you’d like to work with?
Rihanna, I totally love and respect Rihanna—she’s like my sister.
What are some of your favorite songs from her?
Oh man, “Diamonds,” “Umbrella,” “Take a Bow.” First of all, let me just put this into perspective: Rihanna has made so many amazing records; every number one record she’s ever had—the Loud album was exceptional, the first album was amazing. She can just do no wrong to me. -Elle