Mary J. Blige strikes a royal pose for the cover of W magazine’s Art issue cover. The queen of hip-hop soul is “anointed” with her own crown in the moody spread lensed by the legendary Carrie Mae Weems.
The beauty shed her usual rooted blonde bobs for a glam backcombed bouffant updo coiffed by Kim Kimble with makeup by D’Andre Michael. Inside, the Strength of a Woman singer talks music, woman empowerment and how her Mudbound character helped her confidence.
On her Mudbound character:
I didn’t realize how vain I was until I started working on Mudbound. […] When I went to the movie set to do the first day of fittings, I was Mary J. Blige: I had just done a tour and a show, so I was all, you know, I had wigs and weaves and all sorts of things going on, and Dee Rees was like, “No! We want to see you. You can’t have a perm, you’re going to have minimal, minimal makeup.” And I was like, “What about lashes?” And she said no, and I was like, “Really? Florence doesn’t have lashes?” That part was a lot! A lot! But once I tore away and sunk into the character, Florence actually gave Mary—me, the so-vain person—a little more confidence so that Mary didn’t feel like she needed to depend on all of that.
Click through to see more images from the spread.