MUSIC: MARY'S NEW WORLD

THE QUEEN OF HIP-HOP SOUL RETURNS WITH A DIFFERENT LOOK, LABEL AND ATTITUDE

Mary J. Blige is looking as fine as she wants to be. The "queen of hip-hop soul" isn't known for upscale glamour; she earned her rep for her edge, her streetiness, her willingness to keep it real. On the cover photo of her 1992 debut album What's the 411?, her face is shrouded in shadow, gangsta-girl tough. Blige, back then, was all about combat boots and leather jackets; she could drink with the best of them, curse with the worst of them. But at a recent photo shoot in a studio in New York City, Blige traded haughtiness for haute couture--her...

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