Mary J. Blige Explains How Diddy Was Her Teacher and “Greatest Cheerleader”

Mary J. Blige and Diddy have one of the most dynamic friendships in hip-hop and R&B to date. When Blige graced the recent cover of PEOPLE, the longtime collaborators reflected on their shared history and heartwarming bond.

“Mary J. Blige is one of the greatest storytellers in R&B history,” said the 53-year-old bad boy mogul. “She has created a way for women around the world to speak their truth to power, so no one deserves that achievement more than she does.”

Speaking about the rapper-producer, the former Uptown Records first lady admitted that in addition to being a teacher of sorts, Diddy was her biggest cheerleader. “Puff was a huge inspiration to me,” reflects Blige, 52. “He wanted it all for me more than I wanted it for myself.”

The two artists first bonded in the early ’90s when Blige was picked up by Yonkers and, at the age of 18 under the tutelage of Andre Harrell – Diddy’s mentor – became the youngest and first female signer of Uptown Records.

The LOVE Records founder not only considered Blige his “sister and best friend,” he also stated, “She will forever be a pioneer and the queen of hip-hop soul who remains an unstoppable force that can achieve anything.” what she imagines her opinion on it.”

The My Life songbird recalled he once had a fear of success and ambition — a fear Diddy couldn’t relate to — but he balanced it out in those areas, which has led her to the Emmy and Grammy Award-winning To become the superstar she is today.

Check out her full introspective breakdown below.

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