Mary J. Blige is a well-known musician who can now add ‘children’s book author’ to her list of accomplishments. In March 2023, the multi-award-winning singer will release a children’s picture book titled ‘Mary Can!’ via HarperCollins.
The story is about a little girl who demonstrates that everyone may achieve their goals 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 believe they can achieve anything they set their minds to.” Growing up, I was warned that my aspirations were too large, too daring, and too far away. “I believe we need to emphasize that nothing is impossible,” she said.
“From start to finish, this book has been my own dream – starting with 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 said.
Corrin is an Ezra Jack Keats award-winning artist who was just awarded the 2020 Ezra Jack Keats Honor for literature. Corrin described the experience of working on the project with Mary J. Blige as a “dream to illustrate.” The chance excited her since the book’s basic theme is similar to the sorts of novels she likes reading.
“My hope has always been to contribute to stories of vulnerability and honesty, and Mary has done just that for the many people she has touched with her music and life story,” Corrin said. “She has given herself to generations; today’s youth get to be touched by her courage and strength.”
“I want children to believe that they can accomplish anything they set their minds and hearts to,” she said. “The story of Mary Can! perfectly aligns with this hope of mine, and I’m just so proud and honored that I was able to be a part of this project and serve her positive message in this way.”
Blige’s life story is inspiring. Her documentary, Mary J. Blige’s My Life, which premiered in 2021, provided insight into the struggles she had before and after celebrity and how she overcame them. At the age of 18, the Bronx native started her road to become one of the world’s most popular R&B singers, overcoming obstacles ranging from abuse to addiction. Despite this, she received nine Grammy awards and the Billboard Music Awards’ Icon Award in 2022. Blige continues to be a symbol of courage and perseverance, encouraging young people to pursue their aspirations.
Blige’s new declaration follows multiple Grammy Award nominations for 2023. She has six nominations, including one for best R&B performance for “Here With Me,” which she co-wrote with Anderson. Paak received awards for best traditional R&B performance, best R&B song, and best R&B album for Good Morning Gorgeous.
HarperCollins will publish Mary Can! on March 28, 2023.