Mary J. Blige Signs With APA (Exclusive)

Mary J Blige - Publicity - H 2017
D’Andre Michael

The R&B queen is getting awards buzz for her role in ‘Mudbound’.

Mary J. Blige has signed with APA in all areas, The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard have exclusively learned. She previously split her representation between CAA for acting and ICM Partners for music.

The iconic R&B singer/songwriter and actress has been generating awards buzz for her performance as a long-suffering wife and mother in Dee Rees’ critically acclaimed Jim Crow drama Mudbound, which premiered at Sundance and screened again at Toronto this month. In his review, THR critic David Rooney called Blige “a quiet revelation… a model of understatement and careworn dignity in perhaps the singer’s most demanding dramatic role to date.”

Blige’s previous acting credits include NBC’s The Wiz Live!, Lifetime’s Betty & Coretta (in which she starred as Malcolm X’s widow Betty Shabazz opposite Angela Bassett as Coretta Scott King) and New Line’s movie adaptation of the musical Rock of Ages. She also has made guest appearances on How to Get Away with Murder, Black-ish and Empire.

In April, Blige released her 13th studio album, Strength of a Woman, and earlier this month completed a 21-city national tour in its support. The lead single, “Thick of It,” held the top spot on the Adult R&B chart for 16 straight weeks, and follow-up single “U + Me (Love Lesson)” also hit No. 1.

Blige became Uptown Records’ first and youngest female recording artist when she signed with the label at age 18. Her Puff Daddy-produced 1992 debut, What’s the 411?, has gone multiplatinum (the first of eight albums to do so) on the strength of singles such as “You Remind Me” and “Real Love,” which both peaked at No. 1 on the U.S. R&B chart.

With a career now in its third decade, the Queen of Hip Hop Soul has won nine Grammys, five American Music Awards and a 2012 Golden Globe nomination (for The Help’s original song “The Living Proof”), and sold more than 50 million albums worldwide. Her many hits include 1996’s “Not Gon’ Cry” from the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack, 2005’s double-platinum “Be Without You” from The Breakthrough (which received eight Grammy nominations, more than any other artist that year) and 2001’s “Family Affair,” which topped Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for six weeks. Mary J. Blige: The London Sessions, a documentary about the making of her 12th studio album, premiered at Tribeca in 2015.