Blige Passed On "Umbrella" But Is Doing "Just Fine"
October 25, 2007

Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige actually had the chance to record the summer smash "Umbrella," but the singer is not bitter about passing it up. Instead, she's happy for Rihanna for making the smash single, and also pretty excited about her own upbeat single, "Just Fine," which displays her newfound spirit. The video for "Just Fine" premieres today on BET, MTV, MTV Hits, MTV Jams, VH1 and VH1 Soul. The track was produced by Tricky Stewart and The Dream, the same duo behind "Umbrella."

"They did the song for me," Blige revealed to MTV News about "Umbrella." "And it was during the Grammy time and I was really, really busy, and I heard it, and I was like, 'Oh my goodness, that's a smash. I love this song.' And it was like, 'It's yours.' So in the midst of it being mine, they were probably telling [Rihanna] it was hers." Blige continued, "She's such a beautiful lady, and I love her to death. I was so glad that she caught it and knocked it out of the park, and it's still one of my favorite songs to date."

As for her own single produced by Tricky and The Dream, she explained, "[That song] was written based on me having a good day. You know, I can have 30 or 40 [bad days]. I can have as many bad days as anyone. But I choose to say, 'I'm just fine.' Right now. You know those days when your hair looks good, you're not sitting in traffic, your man's not acting like an idiot? You're just fine. So it's okay to have those days. Instead of coming with something ungrateful to the universe, how about I come with something first that's says, 'You know what? It's okay. Enjoy this day if you're having a great day.' "

Blige's new album, Growing Pains, will be in stores on December 11, and she also worked with Ne-Yo, Stargate, Dre & Vidal, and Timbaland for the effort. The song written by Ne-Yo, "Work in Progress," is a favorite of Blige's, but she's not sure yet if it will be her second single.

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Manny Simon
VP/Adult Formats,
Republic Records

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