Mary J. Blige is a renowned music artist and can now add ‘children’s book author’ to her resume. The multi-award-winning singer is set to launch a children’s picture book, ‘Mary Can!’ in March 2023, which will be published by HarperCollins.
The book is about a young girl who proves anyone can attain their dreams if they believe in themselves.
“I want kids to know that there are no limits to what they can accomplish,” Blige told PEOPLE. “My wish is for my nieces and nephews to feel they can achieve anything they imagine. Growing up, I was constantly told that my dreams were too big, too bold, and too far out of reach. I think we need to reinforce that nothing is impossible,” she continued.
“From start to finish, this book has been my own dream – starting from just the idea to partnering with Ashleigh Corrin and Harper Collins, who helped bring Mary Can! to life, to seeing the final and finished book – I couldn’t be more excited to share this with the younger generation,” she added.
Corrin is an Ezra Jack Keats award-winning illustrator and won the 2020 Ezra Jack Keats Honor for writing. When speaking on what it was like to work on the project, Corrin said the project with Blige was a “dream to illustrate.” The opportunity lit her up as the book’s core message aligns with the types of stories she enjoys partaking in.
“My hope has always been to contribute to stories of vulnerability and honesty, and Mary has been just that for the many people she has touched with her music and life story,” said Corrin. “She has given herself to generations; today’s youth get to be touched by her courage and strength.”
“I want children to feel that they can do anything they set their mind and heart to,” she continued. “The story of Mary Can! aligns perfectly with this hope of mine, and I’m just so proud and honored I was able to be a part of this project and serve her positive message in this way.”
Blige’s life journey is inspirational. Her documentary, Mary J. Blige’s My Life, which aired in 2021, gave insight into the challenges she faced before and after stardom and how she’s managed to come out still triumphant. The Bronx native began her journey to becoming one of the most prominent R&B singers in the world at 18 and endured struggles ranging from abuse to addiction. Despite that, she won nine Grammy awards and was honored with the Icon Award by the Billboard Music Awards in 2022. Blige continues to be a testimony of strength and resilience to inspire young people to go after their dreams.
Blige’s recent announcement comes after several 2023 Grammy Award nominations. She’s earned six nominations, including best R&B performance for “Here With Me” featuring Anderson. Paak; best traditional R&B performance for Good Morning Gorgeous best R&B song for Good Morning Gorgeous, and best R&B album for Good Morning Gorgeous.
Mary Can! will be released via HarperCollins on March 28, 2023.