Mary J Blige is one of those singers who have been to hell and back, but has never lost sight of the trophy.
Blige will share the story of her life with throngs of her fans when she takes to the stage tonight at the Coca-Cola Dome in Northgate, Johannesburg.
The second leg of her tour will be at the ICC in Durban tomorrow night before heading for the Grand Arena at the Grand West Casino in Cape Town on Sunday.
The singer will tell her fans about her conversion to Christianity and how it has had an impact on her funky performances.
In a trans-Atlantic interview with Sowetan, Blige said her show is going to be a memorable one, complete with a repertoire to die for. "If God says I should do secular music, I will. As long as I make sure the message is consistent with the life I lead. Mine is to reach out to people, to tell the story of my life. There is nothing wrong with that."
On her spirituality: "The man upstairs gave me strength to find myself and know what I want to do with my life. I chose to do what I am comfortable with. Uppermost on my list is being honest with fans and myself.
"I was born-again after realising that I was leading a rough life. At some point, before you realise you are dying slowly, or rather end up dead, you either do something about it, or God shows you the way."
Blige said she turned to alcohol and drugs because there were a lot of overwhelming things going on in her life at the time, like the death of Aaliyah, the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and the pressures of showbiz.