Keyshia Cole stepped on the scene and reminded a new era of fans of what many felt when legendary singer Mary J. Blige gave us the 411. She’s been dubbed as “Mary J. Blige Jr.” by some critics and has often cited the “Real Love” singer as one of her top influences. Often fans have wondered why the two have never collaborated on a record. In a recent interview with Hollywood Unlocked, the Oakland native is dishing on an honest moment that occurred between the two singers.
Both Keyshia Cole and Mary J. Blige have experienced incredible success in their own respective right. Both singers share similarities in that most of their collaborations have been with various Hip-Hop artists, but not many female singers.
In 2009, Keyshia Cole released her duet with Monica entitled “Trust” which peaked at #5 on Billboard’s R&B Charts. She would later feature on Kehalni’s 2019 single “All Me”, but this would be surrounded with controversy which ultimately saw Keyshia not appearing in the visual for the song.
Additionally, most of Mary’s collaborations have been with Hip-Hop artists. As far as her work with other women, she has recorded and released collaborations with Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Beyonce, and Jessie J among a few others.
Keyshia’s emergence into the music scene prompted comparisons to Blige, which according to Cole was an honor. But a 2012 interview with Singersroom read a little shady when Cole insinuated that there could perhaps be a rift between the two.
“I’m very happy to have been compared to such a wonderful woman, a strong woman,” the I Changed My Mind singer said. “The only thing that I would’ve changed, that I am now here to do for those that come after me, is to lend a helping hand. I feel that even if it’s not me saying I’m gonna record with you, I’m gonna work with you or let’s go hang out or anything like that; we don’t have to be friends, but at the end of the day, being able to give advice or help somebody that is coming under you is an amazing gift to be able to have. I wish I would have had that from Mary, but I’m not Mary, I’m a different person and if K. Michelle ever calls me or anybody for that matter, for advice, I would absolutely give it to them.”
Years later, it’s looking like Keyshia is seeming hopeful to collaborate with who she has called one of her musical mentors. The singer shared in a recent interview with Jason Lee on an Instagram Live session for Hollywood Unlocked‘s edition of “Quarantine Chronicles” that she would love to do a song with Blige, but Mary might not be feeling the same way.
Recalling a time where she asked Blige “I ain’t gonna lie. I was so happy Mary even let me open up for her at a show that she had in Miami. I’ve been asking Mary for years and years to do a record because the fans want to hear it and it would have been amazing to do something like that at the height of my career and at the height of her career,” the singer said. “That would have been super amazing, I felt like.”
She then shares the outcome of her request to Mary. “I asked her this last time and she said, ‘I don’t…I don’t know,'” she said. “And I was just like… ’hmm?’ She said, ‘Don’t you prefer me to be honest with you about it?’ I said, ‘that’s true.’ [Because] at least she didn’t lead me on and tell me probably. Even though probably is better than no,”
Check out the full segment below. Would you be here for a Mary J. Blige/Keyshia Cole duet?