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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 23: Rihanna presents Mary J. Blige with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 23, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

Can you hear Mary J. Blige singing Rihanna’s “Umbrella”? During a recent interview on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Mary J. Blige confirmed that “Umbrella,” which was penned by The-Dream, was originally meant for her.

“It was during Grammy time for me. I was nominated for eight Grammies and I was trying to get myself together for that and during that time that’s when ‘Umbrella’ came to me. And I couldn’t do anything with it because I was so busy with my own life. I was like it doesn’t really sound like me anyway and then Rihanna took it,” Blige told Cohen.

The “Rainy Days” singer was also asked if she had any regrets about not singing the song. “No, because everything about that song is so tailor-made for Rihanna,” Blige replied. “Nothing about that song was Mary J. Bilge. My fans would have been bugging out on me but for Rihanna it’s perfect.”


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During the interview, MJB also discussed various women who she’s crossed paths with during her career. She referred to Whitney Houston as “the most generous woman I’ve ever met.” Blige also referred to Houston as “a giver” and “a beautiful spirit.”

She also described Aretha Franklin as a “teacher” and “tough love mentor” who “gives it to us tough.” Blige said that Franklin taught her that “you can’t be nice all the time” and that you have to know what you want in the business.

Other women that Mary J. Blige discussed was Chaka Khan, Beyonce, Lil Kim, and Missy Elliott. Check out the segment below.

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Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter @GlennishaMorgan.