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ROGERS -- Mary J. Blige showed why she's referred to as the Queen of Hip Hop Soul. She shared not only her music, but glimpses of her strength and life in her high energy and emotional performances.

She showed that there is only one Mary J. Blige while belting out ballads from some of her hits and singing and dancing while performing some of her more upbeat songs.

The Grammy Award-winning singer took the stage Saturday night at the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion in Rogers.

She recently released her album, "Strength of a Woman," and those words were a central theme during the concert.

She interacted with her audience throughout the show.

Blige opened with "Love Yourself" which is on "Strength of a Woman." She performed 21 other songs including "Take Me as I Am," "My Life," "Good Woman Down" and "Just Fine."

There were also outfit changes. She came out in a black jacket with a top and blue glittering jeans. The jacket was gone by the fourth song which left her in a black bustier with the jeans. She later wore a red body suit with a signature fashion statement -- a red hat -- and black boots.

Many of the thousands in attendance stood through the entire concert and danced and sang throughout Blige's performance.

"I've learned a valuable lesson," she told the audience. "I would never lose myself over any human being. It was a hard lesson to learn."

She said her fans had seen the strength that she has and it led her into singing "Take Me as I Am" -- which is on 2005's "The Breakthrough" -- and "Love No Limit."

She performed her hit "Real Love" from her first album, "What's the 411?"

Blige even thanked those die-hard fans that have been with her since "411."

The 90's had some of the best music, Blige said. She asked did they remember her 1996 album "Share the World."

"You've watched me as I had to live my life in front of the whole world," she said.

Her fans have seen her strength through the ups and downs in her life, Blige said.

Blige did not disappoint. She performed one of her signature songs "Not Gonna Cry" which is on "Share the World" as well as the soundtrack for the movie "Waiting to Exhale."

It's hard to believe that Mary J. Blige has been on the world's stage for 25 years and has built an incredible catalog of music. Saturday she shared her talent, passion and music with her audience.

One of the last songs she performed was "No More Drama." She told the audience that there is so much ugliness and drama, but not to give up.

She urged the audience to raise a fist and she chanted "fight, fight, fight." She then sung "No More Drama."

"Can I call you all family tonight," she yelled out to the audience.

She ended the concert with "Family Affair."

Her performance was about 90 minutes and it was a time well spent listening to powerful vocals from a gifted artist.

NAN What's Up on 06/09/2017

Print Headline: REVIEW: Mary J. Blige at Walmart AMP

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