Mary Jane Blige (/ˈblaɪʒ/; born January 11, 1971), known professionally as Mary J. Blige, is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, and occasional rapper and actress. Starting her career as a background singer on Uptown Records in 1990, Blige released her first album, What's the 411?, in 1992, and has since made over 150 guest appearances on other albums and soundtracks, arguably earning Blige the most diverse female vocalist in music, and has released ten studio albums.