Mary J. Blige sat down with Hillary Clinton for the debut episode of the singer’s Apple Music interview series The 411. Clinton and Blige discussed faith, their mothers and how the public’s perception of Clinton differs from how she perceives herself.
“I think I’ve always been the same person. I do believe that when you are in the public eye – whether it’s in entertainment or it’s in politics – you do have the challenge of presenting yourself and having people perceive you as who you think you are,” Clinton said. “Some of the misperception is manufactured and some of it, I take responsibility for, that maybe I’m not communicating clearly enough what I care about and what I do.”
Blige first met Clinton after performing at the Democratic National Convention. Later in the interview, she sang a rendition of Bruce Springsteen‘s “American Skin (41 Shots)” a song about the 1999 shooting of Amadou Diallo. “It means a lot to me because of just everything that’s taken place now,” Blige told Clinton. “I believe that so many women, African-American women, feel like this when sending their children off to school in the morning.”
Blige spoke to the Associated Press why she chose to sing that Springsteen track to Clinton. “I wanted to incorporate the song in the show because the lyrics resonated with me so deeply and so heavily because of all the shootings and police brutality and I never got a chance to say anything,” Blige said. “I’m a singer first… so that’s the only way I can express myself and… the only way I can get that reaction from [Clinton] is to sing it. I didn’t warm up, I just sang… It was organic and that’s how it went. And hopefully, I believe she felt it, I think she did.”