Our favorite around-the-way-grownup-girl is back! Mary J. Blige dons a leopard print dress, her signature blonde cut, and gorgeous earrings on the cover of the October issue of Ebony magazine

In the cover feature Mary J. talks about overcoming her difficult past, finding the love of her life (her hubby Kendu), and hearing about the death of singer Amy Winehouse. After Blige heard about Winehouse’s death, she was shocked, but she was also reminded how easily she could have fallen victim to the same fate.

“When I got the text about Amy, I was lying down on the bed,’’ says Blige.  “I got up and read the message about her death and just lay back down again. I kept getting up and laying back down for some reason. I’d always wanted to work with Amy, so I just couldn’t believe it really.  And then it hit me—that could have been me. That really could have been me!”

Blige, who struggled with alcohol and drug abuse, credits her husband, Kendu, for helping her see the light before it was too late. Although her demons could have taken her out, Mary J. has turned her struggles, drama, and pain into great music.

Recently, the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul turned 40, but she isn’t slowing down yet. Her tenth stuido album, My Life II, is scheduled to be released this November.

Pick up the October issue of Ebony on newsstands now.

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