Mary J. Blige was “afraid of success” when she first entered the music business.
The superstar, known as the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, has won nine Grammy Awards over the course of her career.
But during a new interview for People, Mary confessed that she took a long time to accept her status as a trailblazer, and it wasn’t until she met Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs in the early ’90s that she began to change her outlook.
“I was not as ambitious as Puff. When I met him, I was afraid of success, afraid to do anything that could put so much attention on me. When you come from where I come from, you’re scared to be ambitious. You’re scared to want more,” she told the outlet. “And then, when I met him, he was the complete opposite. He was such a good thing for me because I needed what he had, to be excited to be seen, to have the lights on him. But it took some years to grow into that.”
Mary, 52, also noted that Diddy, who produced her debut album What’s the 411?, made her see that she deserved her fame and wanted to see her be successful more than she “wanted it” herself.
In turn, the hip-hop legend praised his friend as a “pioneer” and “unstoppable force”.
“(Mary) can accomplish anything she sets her mind to,” he praised.
Mary is currently promoting her fourteenth studio album Good Morning Gorgeous. The record is up for six Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year.