Throwback Tuesday : Mary J Blige’s ‘No More Drama’ Live At The 2002 Grammy Awards


Well, the Grammy’s happened this week.

And it’s Tuesday today.

Rings a bell? DUH! It means today’s Throwback Tuesday features one of the greatest Grammy live performances of all time – Queen Of Hip Hop/Soul Mary J Blige belting out ‘No More Drama‘ back in 2002.


Back in 2001, Mary J Blige was basically slaying the game in every way imaginable with the release of her flaw free 5th studio album ‘No More Drama’. She notched her very first Billboard # 1 single ‘Family Affair‘ after being in the biz for over a decade. Shockingly, Blige, throughout a decade of releasing critically lauded multi-platinum smashes, had been awarded a measly one Grammy award – that too for a collaboration with Method Man for ‘I’ll Be There For You/You’re All I Need To Get By‘. A true travesty – as genre-defining albums like ‘My Life‘ and ‘What’s The 411?‘ went unrecognized. Needless to say, with the runaway success of ‘No More Drama‘ and her first # 1 Hot 100 hit, Mary – already a seasoned veteran – was expected to sweep the R’n’B categories clean at the Grammy’s the following year.

Blige lost both her Grammy’s to Alicia Keys in 2002.

And then, THIS happened – and the house was effectively brought down.

Mary J Blige basically showcased her soul with such stellar conviction and rage through her live rendition of ‘No More Drama‘ on the Grammy stage  – that the Grammy committee, who must have known better than to ignore a living legend in the making – quickly handed her two pieces of hardware the following year. She’s gone on to win 6 more, making her the proud owner of an impressive haul of 9 till date.

The scorching performance – I still get major chills every time I watch it – was a ferocious display of Mary’s inner turmoil, addressing her issues with drugs and abusive relationships, as giant television screens behind her displayed messages like ‘Have Faith‘. When she furiously bellows ‘sick and tired of being sick and tired, sick and tired of being deprived of everything…that I’ve worked so hard for‘ – you can’t help but reach out in response to her emotional plea.

The performance easily became a highlight of Mary’s career, as well as one of the most powerful performances in the history of the Grammy Awards, as Blige received a standing ovation from the likes of Celine Dion, U2 and Nelly Furtado. And of course, ‘No More Drama‘ went on to become one of the most successful albums of Mary’s career (7 million units worldwide) until 2005’s ‘The Breakthrough‘ outsold the latter globally.

Compare this with this week’s Grammy performances – Katy Perry performing ‘Dark Horse‘ like the queen of a coven of witches on a broomstick, Pharrell’s 76 kilo Grammy hat, Taylor Swift headbangin’ (?!).

Fascinating. My reaction? Right here –