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Mary J. Blige certainly had the odds stacked against her. The Grammy award-winning singer dropped out of high school and battled abuse, drug and alcohol addiction to get where she is today – appearing in Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself, which is in theaters now.

“My strength comes from staying grounded, having a solid foundation, understanding that God is first in my life,” she tells me. “Staying focused on humility, not being prideful and being able to listen and ask questions when I don’t know.  Understand who I am with Him and who I am without Him. That keeps me grounded and keeps me able to be touchable. People can speak to me. I’m not ashamed of making a mistake. Whatever, it happens. It’s life.”

How does she keep her body in fighting form?

“I train practically every day,” the 38-year-old singer says. “On the weekends, he doesn’t come but I train anyway. I run. I try to diet as hard as I possibly can. It’s not easy, dieting, but I eat food. What I do is when I get full, I quit.”

Mary wed Kendu Isaacs in 2003.

How do they maintain a strong bond?

“Being honest with yourself, knowing what you’re getting into, knowing why you’re getting into it,” she tells me. “Are you getting into it for love? If you’re getting in it for love, just hold on tight because no one’s perfect. No one’s perfect – you’re dealing with this person’s issues, you’ve got issues, it’s going to be a tug-of-war. As long as there’s no abuse or cheating or anything like that, I can do it.  I think not the secret but the key is having a foundation with each other. You know the boundaries and rules, he knows the boundaries and rules, and you respect that.”

I Can Do Bad All By Myself is in theaters now.

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