During a candid interview, Mary J. Blige revealed she went on tour to pay alimony to her ex-husband and former manager Kendu Isaacs after they divorced.
The conversation took place with Power 105.1’s Angie Martinez for iHeart Radio. Blige revealed that the track “Rent Money,” from her new album, Good Morning Gorgeous, was about her situation.
“‘Rent Money’ is [about] when I first got divorced. I had to give up all this alimony, and I didn’t have [any] more money to give because [Kendu] had spent it all. So, I had to go, you know, I had to go on tour, and make all the money back to pay the alimony.”
Blige dropped a video for the single on Feb. 11.
“I didn’t have [any] money to pay my rent and all this other stuff, but it’s also a metaphor like, I didn’t have my soul. I was just drained of everything, so it was time for somebody to pay. Sometimes you just feel like somebody gotta pay…I was very angry when I made that song. I was very angry, and I was like, rent money due. Period!”
The Grammy Award-winning singer filed for divorce from Isaacs in 2016, and a year later, in 2017, she was ordered to pay him $30,000 in temporary spousal support. Initially, her ex-husband reportedly requested over $120,000 per month but was denied. She also had to pay retroactive spousal support dating back to September 2020 and his attorney fees, totaling $235,000.
In 2018, Isaacs reportedly claimed he “experienced physical manifestations of stress and emotional distress from this matter, which has caused him to become hospitalized.”
He also claimed that he became “unemployable,” and without Blige’s help, he would be “destitute” because paying his rent was “impossible.” Isaacs and Blige finally settled outside of court in 2018.
Despite everything the 51-year-old artist went through regarding her divorce, she pressed on and used her experience as inspiration for her new album which was released on Friday, Feb. 11.
She was asked how it felt to have a new album after 30 years in the music industry at her release party.
“It feels amazing…” Blige responded. “It takes a lot to be Mary J. Blige…and it ain’t all good. So to make a 15th album and have fans receive it the way they do. It takes a real-life to give something back to people that they can relate to. It takes real living out here.”
She also said that the album meant relief, redemption, and freedom to her.
“This is relief. This is redemption. I’m free. I’m healing, constantly. But I know how to do it now. It’s not just about breaking down and giving up. It’s about breaking down and getting up quick and keep it moving. I had to encourage myself to feel better, to look better, to do better.”
In addition to her music, the R&B legend has a lead role as drug queenpin Monét Tejada in Power Book II: Ghost. On Sunday, Feb. 13, she gave a stellar performance at the 2022 Super Bowl halftime show alongside 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, and Kendrick Lamar in Los Angeles, Calif.
We’re glad that Auntie is making moves again.