Throwback: Mary J. Blige-You Bring Me Joy

Mary J. Blige My Life 1994

Mary J. Blige’s “You Bring Me Joy” is from her iconic 1994 sophomore album My Life. Sean Combs, Chucky Thompson, and Joel Hailey produced the song, which gets its musical base from a sample of Barry White’s “It’s Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me.” Blige’s ability to sing over White’s groove epitomized what her hip-hop soul crown stood for. Using a digitized piece of R&B history with Blige’s voice combined both genres and set up a blueprint that is still followed in 2024. Marcus Raboy, who had directed Blige’s videos for “Real Love” and “Reminisce,” returned for the “You Bring Me Joy” clip. Blige was filmed in a blue room with a posse of dancers that she joined in a routine on a shimmering floor. The song was the third single from My Life and another solid addition to the album that quickly became a survival totem for many of her fans.

In 1996, the My Life Remix EP was released with remixes of “Mary Jane,” “You Bring Me Joy,” “Be Happy,” “Be With You,” and “I Love You” with appearances from LL Cool J, MC Lyte, Lin Que, Smif-N-Wessun, Keith Murray and Lauryn Hill. The album was remastered and re-released in 2020 to mark its 25th anniversary. The new edition included remixes of “Mary Jane,” “I’m Goin’ Down,” “Be Happy,” “I Love You,” and a cover of Aretha Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” Amazon Prime Video released Mary J. Blige’s My Life documentary about the album in 2021. Blige recorded “When I Can’t Do Better” for The Color Purple album of music inspired by the 2023 film.