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Mary J. Blige provides anthem for 'The Help'

August 9, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Nine-time Grammy Award-winning singer Mary J. Blige has spent 20 years raising up her voice. Her latest song provides the anthem for the new movie, "The Help," which tells the story of African American maids and their white employers in 1960s-era Deep South.

Blige saw an early screening of the film for inspiration.

"I was literally typing down things that made me cry, and why, and the different things that they were saying that made me, you know, that moved me," said Blige. "And that's when I came up with the title, 'The Living Proof,' because they're all living proof of surviving out of a bad situation by holding onto each other and encouraging each other through all of that stuff to do better."

Blige doesn't just sing about encouraging others to do their best, she puts her words into action with her own charity organization, Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now. Her goal is to not just inspire women to reach their potential, but to offer tools to help them do just that.

"It's something that I've always wanted to do which was touch the lives of women and help us to have a second chance," said Blige. "As a child, I always wanted to see women feel beautiful, be strong, and not hurt because I'd seen women hurt and devastated as a child, like through low self-esteem, being abused, everything. And I got a second chance because I became one of those women. And I wanted to give all of these women a second chance through education, empowerment, encouraging them."

Through FAWN, Blige has helped send more than two dozen women to college on full scholarships.

Her latest solo album, "My Life 2: The Journey Continues," and the soundtrack for "The Help" are both available now. And next summer, Blige will hit the big screen in "Rock of Ages."

"The Help" opens on Wednesday, August 10.

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