Mary J. Blige in a white short set performing Saturday night at the Superdome for the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans. (L. Toomer photo) (81276)
Mary J. Blige in a white short set performing Saturday night at the Superdome for the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans. (L. Toomer photo)

When Fat Joe introduced the phrase “Yesterday’s price is NOT today’s price,” to the lexicon of pop culture, let’s be clear of its definition. NO, it’s not a fond remembrance of an economy that was a little more affordable. Instead, it speaks to a person that has outperformed rapidly their contractual obligations, and the bag (compensation) has gone up significantly and permanently. If that phrase were to take human form, without question it would be personified by Mary J. Blige.

On the heels of receiving an Outstanding Actress award at the NAACP Image Awards comes word that the decorated actress is officially set to executive produce a film based on her classic single, “Real Love.” According to Entertainment Weekly, the project is a coming-of-age drama entitled “Real Love,” a film inspired by her introductory smash hit. Per the press release for the film, the story centers on Kendra, “a studious teen who sets off on her own for the first time to attend college in upstate New York. But when she meets her film class partner Ben, her plans are thrown for a loop. Despite disapproving parents, financial hardships, and competition to become top students, Kendra and Ben fall for one another and ‘ultimately learn the meaning of real love.’” Aside from executive producing the film, Mary will also include additional music from her extensive catalog.

“I wrote ‘Real Love’ based on my real-life experiences and my fans connected to it in a deeply personal way,” the R&B songstress said of the film in a statement. “It’s exciting to now use this song and my music to create a new story by way of film, continuing to build on a pillar of the foundation of my production company, Blue Butterfly. My passions for acting and music now include developing diverse stories with music as the backdrop.”

If that wasn’t enough, rumors persist that a tour is imminent after the release of her new album “Hello Gorgeous” AND the show-stealing segment as part of the Superbowl Bowl LVI half-time performance. While nothing official has been announced, some major spot dates are etched in stone. One of the first of these occurs the weekend of March 12 and 13 as Mary is slated to headline the 15th annual Jazz in the Gardens in the City of Miami Gardens. After a two-year cancellation of the event, an exuberant fan expressed to Nightlife, “Not only are we excited for the return of Jazz in the Gardens, but we are also honored to host Mary J. Blige once again in the great City of Miami Gardens.” This fan, who happens to be the mayor of Miami Gardens, Rodney Harris continued, “Mary J is an outstanding artist who consistently delivers a soulful and entertaining performance for her audience.” As to not just wax poetic of the headliner, Harris added, “This is from top to bottom a stellar lineup that is diverse enough to please a wide range of grown folk music palates. We have one of the best in rap, Miami Gardens’ own Rick Ross, T Pain, another Florida native, and

The Roots for hip hop; empowering women representation with H.E.R and S.W.V; and one of the all-time great groups, the Isley Brothers.” He concluded, “Aside from the music we’re offering a great cultural experience. Jazz in the Gardens also showcases an eclectic mix of goods, especially the food. Local and national vendors will be on hand to offer the best cuisine from Jamaica, Cuba, the Bahamas and the Caribbean diaspora as a whole.”

“We are honored to partner with Mayor Harris and the City of Miami Gardens on the 15th anniversary of Jazz in the Gardens,” said Brittany Flores, president of Live Nation Florida. “The event is a staple here in South Florida and we are beyond excited to help continue the tradition and usher in the next chapter of this amazing event.”

The full Jazz in the Gardens lineup is Mary J. Blige, H.E.R, Rick Ross, The Isley Brothers, SWV, The Roots with special guest T-Pain, Stokely, Johnathan McReynolds, Mike Phillips and Mark Allen Felton, with local performers still to be announced. Syndicated radio host and comedian Rickey Smiley will return as the host.

Over and out. Holla next week. Til then, enjoy the nightlife.

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