Mary J. Blige is not only a Grammy® award winning and Academy® Award nominated artist, actress and producer, but also a visionary storyteller who brings her music to life on the screen. In 2023, she partnered with Lifetime Network to executive produce two original movies inspired by her hit songs "Real Love" and "Strength of a Woman". The movies, which aired on consecutive Saturdays in June, showcased Blige's talent and passion for creating diverse and empowering stories with music as the backdrop.
"Real Love" was a coming-of-age romantic drama about Kendra, a college student who falls in love with her film class partner Ben, despite many obstacles and challenges. The movie featured Blige's classic song as well as other tracks from her discography that captured the essence of true love.
"Strength of a Woman" was a biographical drama that chronicled Blige's remarkable journey from her humble beginnings in the Bronx to her rise to fame and fortune as the Queen of Hip Hop Soul. The movie also explored Blige's personal struggles and triumphs, as well as her influence on the music industry and culture. The movie included Blige's powerful anthem as well as other songs that reflected her resilience and courage.
Both movies were produced by Blige's own production banner, Blue Butterfly, alongside Ashaunna Ayars and Nicole Jackson. They were also part of Lifetime's initiative to celebrate women's stories and voices. Blige said that she was grateful to Lifetime for their partnership and that she hoped to inspire and uplift her fans with her movies.