Mary J Blige has been back on the market for a few years now. The “No More Drama” singer left her marriage behind and has been fighting her through the wreckage ever since. While career highs have been awaiting her on the other side, how has dating been since she’s been single?
Mary J Blige and Kendu Issac were together for years. He was the inspiration before her hit song “Be Without You,” and it seemed like Blige was finally on to a happily ever after following years of sad songs. Issac had different plans, and after years of infidelity, Blige had to kick him to the curb. In addition to cheating, Issac was also accused of being a freeloader and profiting off his wife’s star. Angie Martinez pointed this out in a 2017 interview, where she recalls “not knowing” who Issac was before Mary.
“I gave him everything I gave because I wanted people to know him,” she recalls. Mary says she gave way too much in the relationship and vows to never over do it like that again. “I’m sorry, he it up for everybody. He messed it up,” she said before laughing. Even with Angie’s encouragement, Mary says she’s not sure when she’d ever give that much again. She also says she’d never marry again.
While she never wants to marry again, that has not ruled out dating. Blige is hotter than ever, and the 50-year-old has been flaunting heavy in swimsuits and red carpets. Last year she was linked to NLF star Sterling Shepard. The 28-year-old and Blige were seen getting cozy at a party in New York at the top of 2022. Shepard was linked to model Chanel Iman but filed for divorce in 2021. They were celebrating famed stylist Misa Hylton’s birthday.
Back in 2017, Blige was linked to Straight Outta Compton star James Mitchell. She and the 30-year-old starred opposite each other in Mudbound, and she retweeted some articles about them dating at the time, but some thought maybe it was an accident. Fans speculated that she reshared by mistake since the articles featured images from them at Sundance. A fan who was present said that Blige discussed being happy to be single and shut down any dating rumors.
Blige is keeping it solo these days, and rightfully so. Her success has tripled since leaving Kendu, and with some major Grammy nominations on the way, she is focused on the gold. Mary says if she was to date, she is looking for someone she does not have to take care of this time. She told BBC Radio 1Xtra that she is not having it this time around. “Well, he has to have more money than me, that’s for sure,” she said. “Because I’m not taking care of any more men.”
In her divorce settlement with Kendu, Mary was asked to pay $30k a month in spousal support due to Kendu becoming “unhireable” following their split. He initially asked for $65k.