ON THE COUCH WITH MARY J BLIGE

The diva bares her soul toNME...

Which song describes you best?

‘Deep Inside’ from my album, ‘Mary’. It’s hard sometimes being a celebrity and people are around for reasons other than love. But my old friends still see me for who I am.”

What is heaven?

“Once you know who you are and you’re comfortable with what you do. Am I there yet? I’m getting there.”

What is hell?

“Hell is when you don’t know who you are.”

What’s your earliest memory?

“Eating Frankenberry cereal in the house where we used to live in Yonkers, New York. Just playing and stuff as a little , about five years old.”

What is your greatest fear?

“Snakes. When I was little we used to go down South and snakes used to be around a lot. Have I ever been bitten by one? No, I’d probably be !”

Who is your all-time hero?

“My mother, because she is a strong woman that held her own and raised us by herself.”

What’s the worst trouble you’ve been in?

“Substance abuse, from 16 all the way to 24. You name it – everything except for . I stopped by looking at how horrible I was looking and what it could do to me, what it was doing to other people. But I never got into trouble with the police because it was always on the low, always kind of private.”

Who was the first love of your life?

“I don’t really wanna say it. I never really had a love of my life, other than God just being there all the time and loving me more than anybody.”

What’s your greatest talent?

“Apart from music? I have one but I don’t wanna say what it is, because it won’t be secret any more. But it has nothing to do with writing or music.”

On who would you most like to exact revenge? Why? How?

“Nobody. It’s not worth it. If you’d asked me years ago I’d have named ten people, hahaha! But right now? No way, it always comes back to you.”

What’s your most treasured possession?

“My life, and my family.”

What have you most regretted doing while drunk?

“Cursing friends out, and having to say sorry the next day.”

What can you cook?

% en, steak, rice, eggs, bacon, salmon, vegetables. Almost everything. I still cook for myself.”

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?

“Don’t be afraid. Because there’s so much to be afraid of. There’s no man or woman who intimidates me, but sometimes the camera scares me a little bit.”

What would you do if you were invisible for a day?

“I would go to Bulgari, the jewellery store, and all the designer clothes shops. And I’d take everything outta there. Hahaha!”

What are your final three wishes?

“Peace of mind forever, being a little more patient, and just for my family to never ever have to struggle.”