The Queen Of Hip-Hop Soul: Mary J. Blige Covers ESSENCE’s November 2017 Issue

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Grammy-winning R&B icon Mary J Blige covers ESSENCE‘s November 2017 issue and opens up about her new role in Netflix‘s Mudbound, which is set in the Mississippi Delta during the Jim Crow South. In the film, directed by Dee Rees (Pariah), Blige plays Florence Jackson, a mother of four who’s navigating her family through the dangers of being Black while living on a flood-drenched farm in the south.

Shedding Mary J. Blige for Florence gave Mary J. Blige some confidence… like a lot of it,” Blige told ESSENCE writer Taiia Smart Young, while being interviewed in Miami. “[On set] I could hear people whispering, ‘She’s so beautiful.’ And I was like, ‘Who the hell are they talking about?'”

This issue was photographed by photographer Dennis Leupold and styled by Marni Senofonte.

Be sure to pick up this issue, hitting newsstands October 20.

Photos Credit: Dennis Leupold

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Donovan is the CEO and Editor-In-Chief of For all general inquiries please email Donovan has a BA in Journalism & Media Studies from the prestigious Rutgers University. He's currently studying entertainment and fashion law.