Yonkers R’n’B legend Mary J Blige has written many exceptional songs. From ‘Be Without You’ to ‘Just Fine,’ it’s fair to say that the vocalist has a knack for songwriting. In fact, Blige is so skilful in her penmanship that she has managed to secure herself nine Grammy awards, twelve Billboard awards, and even a Billboard Icon award. That said, Blige is far from arrogant and has acknowledged other good songwriters when she sees them.
Whether or not listeners know it, Blige has been behind some iconic songs and has collaborated with various stars in a writing capacity. The Yonkers native has penned lyrics for the likes of 3SL, Brian McKnight and even Ne-Yo. With so many hits to her name, it’s hard to imagine that Blige could envy anyone else’s music. However, in an interview with the esteemed music magazine NME, the vocalist admitted that there’s is one song she wishes she had written.
In 2017, Blige sat down with NME journalist Jordan Bassett to discuss her musical journey and career achievements. Recalling her influences growing up, the singer cited artists such as Roy Ayers, Stevie Wonder and Soul II Soul as figures that inspired her as a child. However, as well as her musical idols, she was asked to discuss her musical peers and their music. When asked if there was a song she wishes she had written, Blige nodded and admitted there is one track: ‘Ordinary People’ by the smooth-talking John Legend.
Elaborating on why she loves the track so much, Blige explained, “It’s the lyrics. ‘We’re just ordinary people / We don’t know which way to go / Maybe we should take it slow’. Like, take it slow, take it easy – that alone just gives me the chills, you know? Because we are just people and we are very small in the universe. We should stop trying to be so big and take it easy on each other. It’s definitely liberating – it takes a load off. You don’t have to carry so much: the universe is gonna carry it for you.”
‘Ordinary People’ is undeniably a fantastic song and one that is full of emotion and heart. The track was so impressive that in 2006 it received a Grammy award in the category ‘Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.’ Concerning this epic John Legend, the beauty is in its simplicity.
You can listen to the ballad in the video below.