Mary J. Blige Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of What's the 411?

The R&B singer reflects on her first album.

Posted: 07/30/2012 11:46 AM EDT

On July 28, 1992, hip hop soul queen Mary J. Blige released her iconic debut album What’s the 411?. The singer celebrated the record’s 20th anniversary over the weekend and looked back on how far she’s come in her music and personal life. 

 

"It means everything because it was the beginning of everything that I do," she told AOL’s The BoomBox. "It was the beginning of the 20-year career span that I have. Just the longevity and the fan base and the building of that."

 

The nine-time Grammy Award winner has come a long way from the drama, unhealthy lifestyle and old demons that plagued the beginning of her career. But of course, there are also many fond memories of the release of her 20-year-old album, for which Diddy, then "Puff Daddy," served as the record's executive producer.

 

“The first shows, being nervous, the Howard University performance Puffy booked for us, just having Biggie and everybody around that was around at that time,” Mary reflected. “Just hearing your record on the radio for the first time.”

 

As a gift to herself, she bought a green Jeep Cherokee when What’s the 411? was first released. Now, the rewards are much sweeter with eight multi-platinum albums and packed national tours. The songstress will begin her Liberation tour with D’Angelo next month, starting off in Virginia Beach, VA, on August 18 and ending in Clarkston, MI, on September 14.

 

Will you be there?

 

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(Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

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