MARY J BLIGE LOST ME AS A FAN!!
(LOL! But I sure she doesn’t give a Damn!)
When the police and security rolled into the press tent like S.W.A.T, it scared me to death! Up until that point, I was enjoying the beautiful euphoric atmosphere at JAZZ IN THE GARDENS, an annual event (March 20, 2010) sponsored by the City of Miami Gardens at the old Pro-Play Stadium. I had interviewed and relaxed to the sounds front-stage of legends Joe Sample, David Sanborn, Teena Marie, and the oh so sexy Robin Thicke. Afterwards, I chilled backstage in an elated state after watching those mesmerizing performances.
Then suddenly, out of nowhere, several police officers showed up on the scene! I thought maybe someone was hurt, or maybe a few lunatics tried to infiltrate us good media folks in the press tent area. I was somewhat alarmed, but stayed put because I knew Mary would be arriving soon to grace us with her presence and offer kind words of wisdom just like the previous legends/performers had just done.
When Mary J Blige finally did arrived, she sat outside in a Black Escalade, and wouldn’t budge until her personal security joined the police force inside the tent to get the media in line and set us straight! WTF!
At that moment, the press was instructed to stand behind this yellow line drawn inside the tent or security will REMOVE US! There was no walking outside the tent, no using the restroom, so we all waited like packed rats behind the yellow line…and let me tell you, I had to pee!
As I waited patiently, and waited and waited, behind the yellow line for my idol, Mary J Blige to arrive, I thought of a good question to ask her. I reminisced about her vocals in ‘My Life’, and thought maybe I would start there. Then came more instructions: there would be no questions, no statements from Mary, and definitely no walking in front of the yellow line! WE GOT IT!! NO STANDING BEYOND THE YELLOW LINE!
Damn! As I held my bladder, I liked this woman less and less. The whole tone of the atmosphere changed from lively, to dull and sad. Mary J Blige, who I thought was a round away girl, certainly didn’t have to speak to the press if she didn’t want to, especially now that she was nearly an hour late. But I would have no new information to take back to the readers or the citizens of our humbled town of Miami.
Yet and still, I can’t call Mary a Diva because I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes in her personal life. Mary may have had a bad day. Who knows? It’s not for me to judge. But after she left the tent, I was no longer a fan, didn’t want to be at the event anymore, and didn’t want to hear her whining on stage, so I went home. And as I left, I saw others leaving too and heard Mary on stage ranting about not caring if people left during the intermission. Oh well.
Out of curiosity, on the 2nd day of the event, I walked into the crowd while Boys II Men performed, and asked what THEIR impression was of Mary. Below is a response from audience member Lee, from north Florida, which summed it up; (audio recorded during Boys II Men live performance)
[Mary should not attack the crowd]
But just because she lost a few of us fans, that didn’t stop her die hard supporters from loving Mary J Blige’s performance and sticking by her side, diva or not. Take a listen to another audience member
[I love Mary]
Bottom Line…The antics were simply unnecessary. Just like Joe Sample said in the interview I did with him, “it is a blessing that people spent their time to be at this event, when they could have been anywhere in the world.” I don’t think Mary understood that…but maybe I’m wrong.