Mary J. Blige can finally check making a holiday album off her to-do list. In the new issue of People magazine, the singer reveals that recording her latest studio effort, A Mary Christmas, was a passion project.
“[Producer] David Foster has been asking me, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” she tells the mag. ” I finally had time to get it out of my system.”
The singer explained why she incorporated a live orchestra on the disc, which includes guest spots from Barbra Streisand and Marc Anthony.
“I didn’t want to put a beat on a song or have some rapper on it,” she says. “I wanted to be classy and traditional, and make people feel like Nat King Cole‘s ‘This Christmas Song’ made me feel when I was a little girl.”
With the holidays quickly approaching, Mary revealed all the festive traditions that take place in her home. “I just love having the family come together: putting up the lights, the reminiscing, the cooking,” she shares. “In my home it’s all soul food like collard greens, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, potato pie. It’s a lot of heavy food, so after the holidays I try to really get back in the gym!”
A Mary Christmas is available in stores now.
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