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Mary J. Blige is featured in Elle magazine’s latest issue. Like the true diva that she is, the Queen rocks the season’s most regal furs, from fox to goat. She talks about her on-stage persona and playing Nina Simone on screen.

On performing on stage:

Honey, there are no distractions when you’re onstage, because you are where you live. When I’m on that stage, I’m not worried about my heels, I’m not worried about my hair. My pony­tail could fly off and it wouldn’t even matter to me. Because once you make that connection with those people, nothing else matters.

On playing Nina Simone:

I learned that she was a woman on the search for love, as well. You know, looking for love, standing up for her rights, and not being understood. No one could ever belittle her in a conversation. She was not a mess. Spirituality? My God, this woman makes the hair stand up on my legs just talking about her.

On the difference between her iconic 1994 “My Life” album & its upcoming sequel “My Life II… The Journey Continues (Act 1)”

[My Life was recorded at a time] when we didn’t know if we were going to live or die. It spoke from such a place of ‘I need help, we all need help.’ Now we can say we’re beautiful, we’re strong, we’re confident. [But] to sit back and lie and say everything is wonderful in anybody’s life? [laughs] My fans would be like, ‘Come on, man.’

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