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Mary J. Blige explains why “Family Affair” is the perfect song for her to sing at the Super Bowl

Adrienne Raquel/Elle

As Mary J. Blige prepares to perform during halftime at Super Bowl LVI on February 13, she faces the dilemma of selecting only one song to sing from her 30-year catalog.

The Queen of Hip Hop Soul tells Elle that she’s leaning toward “Family Affair” from her triple-platinum 2001 album No More Drama. She co-wrote the number-one hit with Dr. Dre, who also produced the track, and who’s one of the four superstars she’ll be sharing the stage with at the Super Bowl. Mary believes the song is appropriate, because hip hop has influenced family life around the world.

“We are the culture,” the nine-time Grammy winner says. “We give people a way to walk. We give people a way to talk. We give people a way to think.”

In addition to Dre, Mary J. will join Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg on stage at the Super Bowl. She says the lineup represents hip hop’s global appeal.

“Hip hop is East Coast. Hip hop is West Coast. Hip hop is Europe — this is why it’s going to be so major, because this is what the Super Bowl is showing to people,” the 51-year-old entertainer says. “[Hip hop] is everywhere.”

Meanwhile, the “Not Gon’ Cry” singer says the title of her upcoming album, Good Morning Gorgeous, was inspired by her daily mantra during her painful 15-year marriage to Kendu Isaacs, who she divorced in 2018.

“I was feeling so low. I had to pay myself the highest compliments, even if I didn’t believe it, just so I could build myself up,” Blige recalls.

Mary says she still recites the same words every day: “Good morning, Gorgeous. I love you. I got you. I need you.”

Good Morning Gorgeous comes out February 11.

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