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Mary J Blige At New York Music Awards

Source: Steve Eichner / Getty

Twenty-eight years ago today, Mary J. Blige released her debut album What’s the 411? A young Mary signed with Uptown Records in ’91, at which point she began working with Diddy, amongst other producers, on the album that would catapult her career as the Queen of Hip Hop Soul. What’s the 411? would go on to sell 3.4 million copies — yes, Mary’s very first album went triple platinum and as fans today know, it was far from her last platinum project.

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Boasting so many gems — “Real Love,”You Remind Me,” “Sweet Thing,” and “Love No Limit,” just to name a few — we had to honor the album and the version of MJB who created it. So, we dug for some old photos of the Queen back in those days. Check those out below! Plus, her tribute to Andre Harrell after the Uptown Records founder passed away in May.

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1. Mary takes over the stage in her signature look.

Mary J. Blige performing in 1992 Source:Getty

2. The R&B goddess takes a stance at the 7th Annual New York Music Awards.

Mary J. Blige - 7th Annual New York Music Awards Source:Getty

3. How sweet does she look at the KMEL Summer Jam in 1992?

Mary J. Blige at KMEL Summer Jam 1992 Source:Getty

4. Mary J. & Joe Public win big at the New York Music Awards in ’92.

Joe Public & Mary J. Blige in 1992 Source:Getty

5. Mary J. Blige is all smiles in a hoodie and curls.

Mary J. Blige before performing in 1992 Source:Getty

6. Mary does her one, two-step while performing in ’92.

Mary J. Blige performing in 1992 Source:Getty

7. She had a flawless smile, even back then.

Mary J. Blige at Beacon Theater - 1992 Source:Getty

8. Mary J. wins big at the 7th Annual New York Music Awards.

Mary J. Blige - 7th Annual New York Music Awards Source:Getty

9. Show ’em who’s queen.

Mary J. Blige performing in 1992 Source:Getty

10. Super Cat and Mary chill backstage at the New York Music Awards in ’92.

Super Cat & Mary J. Blige - 7th Annual New York Music Awards Source:Getty

11. Let’s get ’em, queen!

Mary J. Blige performing in 1992 Source:Getty
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