Mary J. Blige’s Net Worth Makes it Easy to See Why She’s the ‘Queen’ of Hip-Hop Soul

Mary J Blige, "My Life"
Photo: Courtesy of Amazon Studios.

Fans may be wondering about Mary J. Blige‘s net worth—especially now that the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul is getting her own documentary. So, what’s the 4-11 on how much Mary J. Blige makes these days?

We’ll get into that below and much more soon, but first, here’s what to know about Blige’s career thus far. The Bronx-born star got her start in the industry in the 1990s. The “Real Love” singer and rapper has since released 13 studio albums and sold over 100 million records worldwide. Alongside her music career, Blige is also an actress. Beginning in the early 2000s, Blige made her foray onto the silver screen, landing guest spots in films like 2001’s Prison Song. By 2017, she had earned Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for her breakthrough role in Mudbound. Blige also stars as Monet Tejada in STARZ’ Power Book II: Ghost, a spin-off of the network’s original series Power.

With such an impressive career, it may seem like Blige’s life is pretty flawless. But her 2021 Amazon documentary, Mary J. Blige: My Life, revealed that things weren’t always so great for Blige. The documentary dives into the darker periods of Blige’s life, including when she was once molested by a family friend at the age of five. During an interview with Entertainment Tonight, the star revealed that reliving the “pain” of her past was “heavy” work, but necessary.

Now, Blige is on the other side of it all—and her life is rich in many ways. Of course, this includes her literal earnings. For everything we know about Mary J. Blige’s net worth, keep on reading below.

How much has Mary J. Blige earned from her music career?

Long before she was known as the “Queen of Hip-Hop and Soul,” Blige decided to drop out of high school to pursue a career in music. A young Blige was first signed to the renowned New York City label, Uptown Records, founded by the late Andre Harrell (Blige has since dedicated her documentary, Mary J. Blige: My Life, to the onetime rapper). It was at Uptown where Blige worked on and ultimately released her critically acclaimed 1992 debut album, What’s the 411? 

The record, which was a mix of everything from R&B and soul to hip-hop, was the first to establish her as a new force in popular music. And it earned her a very decent paycheck: According to The Richest, the debut earned her a whopping $3.6 million alone.

Four American Music Awards, nine Grammy Awards, and 12 Billboard Music Awards later, Blige’s music is still bringing home hefty paychecks, with her earnings from albums like My Life and No More Drama bringing in an estimated $3.2 million and $7 million respectively. This doesn’t even include touring revenue, which in 2010 earned her over $2.7 million. All in all, Blige’s music career has earned her well over $45 million before taxes, according to The Richest.

How much did Mary J. Blige make from the Super Bowl Halftime Show 2022?

How much did Mary J. Blige make from the Super Bowl Halftime Show 2022? Dr. Dre was one of five Halftime Show performers at the Super Bowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals, alongside Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, Eminem and Dr. Dre. (Sean Forbes and Warren Snipe were also featured performers, while Mickey Guyton performed the national anthem.)

So…how much did Mary J. Blige make as a 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show performer? The answer is nothing. According to National Football League spokesperson Joanna Hunter, Super Bowl Halftime Show performers aren’t paid but the NFL does cover the expenses for their performance. “We do not pay the artists,” Hunter told Forbes in 2016. “We cover expenses and production costs.” However, there is a limit to how much the NFL will pay. The Weeknd’s manager Wassim “Sal” Slaiby told Billboard in 2021 that the “Starboy” singer contributed $7 million of his own money to “make this halftime show be what he envisioned” when he performed at the Super Bowl LV.

According to Forbes, the total production cost for Beyoncé’s 2013 Super Bowl Halftime Show performance was $600,000, though some reports claim that the number was $10 million. So why aren’t Super Bowl Halftime Show performers paid? With more than 100 million people who tune into the Super Bowl each year, the Halftime Show often serves as free promotion for its performers. According to Forbes, Bruno Mars’ 2012 album, Unorthodox Jukebox, soared from number seven to number three on the Billboard 200 after he performed at the Super Bowl in 2014. The magazine also reported that sales for Unorthodox Jukebox spiked by 92 percent to 81,000 after his Super Bowl Halftime Show performance. Beyoncé’s 4 also saw a similar spike of 59 percent after she performed the Super Bowl Halftime Show in 2013.

According to Spotify, Shakira’s streams spiked by 230 percent, while Jennifer Lopez’s streams went up by 335 percent after they performed at the Super Bowl Halftime Show in 2020. Justin Timberlake’s sales also rose by 534 percent after his performance at the Super Bowl Halftime Show in 2018, according to Billboard. Katy Perry’s manager, Steven Jensen, also told Forbes in 2015 that her Super Bowl Halftime Show performance “took her from being a big star to the stratosphere.” Perry’s manager also told the magazine that, as a result of her Super Bowl Halftime Show performance, Perry’s endorsement deals doubled.

What is Mary J. Blige’s net worth in 2023?

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Mary J. Blige’s net worth is an estimated $20 million as of 2023. This is in no small part thanks to her earnings from both her music career and her roles on film and television today.

During her 2021 documentary, Mary J. Blige’s My Life, Blige opened up about why her second studio album, My Life, in 1994 was the most “important” to her. “I have 13 albums, but my second album My Life is the most important because there was a lot in me and there was a lot wrong and there was a lot I needed to get out,” she said. “The My Life album is probably my darkest albums; one of the darkest times in my life […] this was a turning point. This was a decision I had to make: either live or die. Most of the times, I was just depressed and didn’t want to live because I didn’t love myself.”

Mary J. Blige: My Life is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

When It Was Just a Game: Remembering the First Super Bowl

 Mary J. Bliges Net Worth Makes it Easy to See Why Shes the Queen of Hip Hop Soul

Image: Taylor Trade Publishing.

For more about the Super Bowl, football fans can check out When It Was Just a Game: Remembering the First Super Bowl
by Harvey Frommer. The best-selling book delves into the history of the first Super Bowl, which was originally known as the AFL-NFL Championship Game. (The term “Super Bowl” was coined only in its third year.) The debut game, between the winning Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs, was played in front of only 61,946 people at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum—an audience well below the stadium’s capacity. Harvey Frommer, a sports historian and reporter, puts the tale of that momentous game together using oral history, gathered by hundreds of interviews with players, coaches, media and spectators alike.

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