Mary J. Blige on 'Empire,' music and not taking those cookies

Mary J. Blige Talks About "The London Sessions"
Mary J. Blige Talks About "The London Sessions"


By DONNA FREYDKIN

All hail the queen, clad in leather culottes and Giuseppe Zanotti gold heels. Mary J. Blige, ultra-glam, catches us up on her life.

She's working on new music, and yes, she types up lyrics on her iPhone: "We're in the early stages of creating. I'm writing down ideas, words. I wake up in the middle of the night and type if something comes to me. I can't see without my glasses -- you should take that out! When I read it back, some of it is, 'That's pretty deep.'"

She's going deep: "I have to go to where I am. I'm in a stage where I am a very strong and an appreciative person of my life. Not vainly, but how much I treasure my life and what got me here. When you're breaking down and having those low moments, you have to build yourself back up."

She's on a five-week diet, which stops her from indulging in gravy, cheese and other goodies: "Right now, I'm not into anything bad for me. But I'm a dairy person. I'm a fried food person. I'm a sweet, sugar, cake ice cream -- I'm bad."

And she's on the second season of Empire, which premieres Sept. 23 on FOX, about which she can reveal not one thing, lest she invoke the wrath of Cookie Lyon: "Nothing. You have to watch. It's very good. I can't give you anything. I'm not going to do that to Lee Daniels. Everyone really cares about everyone. If you come along and you're a guest, they treat you so nice."

Between The Perfect Guy, Empire and Straight Outta Compton, Blige is deeply aware and supportive of Hollywood's seeming willingness to release things that aren't totally white: "One hundred percent, I think we're definitely entering into an era of more diverse entertainment. We need that."

A look back at the luxe Lyon clan.