- Stronger with Each Tear
Stronger with Each Tear Studio album by Mary J. Blige Released December 18, 2009
(see release history)
Recorded 2008–2009 Genre R&B, hip hop soul Label Matriarch, Geffen Producer Mary J. Blige (Executive)
Darkchild, Polow Da Don, Bryan-Michael Cox, Raphael Saadiq, Stargate, Ryan Leslie, Supa Dups, Konvict Music, The Runners, Stereotypes, Ne-Yo, Tricky Stewart, The-Dream, D'Mile, Ron Fair
Mary J. Blige chronology Growing Pains
Stronger with Each Tear
My Life II... The Journey Continues (Act 1)
Alternative coversInternational artwork. Singles from Stronger with Each Tear
- "The One"
Released: July 21, 2009
- "I Am"
Released: December 8, 2009
- "Each Tear"
Released: February 26, 2010
- "We Got Hood Love"
Released: March 30, 2010
Stronger with Each Tear (stylized as Stronger withEach Tear) is the ninth studio album from American R&B and soul singer Mary J. Blige. The album was released in the US on December 21, 2009 under Blige's own imprint Matriarch Records.
Internationally it was released December 18, 2009 in Australia and Germany, December 21 in France, December 23 in Japan, and on February 2, 2010 in Korea with further international releases (in some cases re-releases) March, April, and May 2010. With this album, she landed a record of nine albums that have debuted at the top of the US R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
- 1 Background
- 2 Release and promotion
- 3 Reception
- 4 Track listing
- 5 Personnel
- 6 Charts
- 7 Awards
- 8 Release history
- 9 References
Blige started working on her upcoming ninth album while she toured with Robin Thicke in 2008. In an interview with Rap-Up magazine she stated the following about the album:
“ The album represents who and what I am right now. I’m a stronger human being after all the growing pains. It’s about life, love, change, strength—mostly really knowing who you are and being confident in that ”
The album was initially titled Stronger after the song, "Stronger" which Blige recorded and released as the lead single from the soundtrack Music Inspired by More Than a Game from the LeBron James' documentary More Than a Game. However Rap-Up later revealed that the album had been re-titled Stronger with Each Tear.
The album features productions and writing credits from the likes of Ryan Leslie, Darkchild and Johntá Austin. Also included are several features like Canadian rapper Drake who features on the first single "The One", rapper T.I. who features on "Good Love" which was initially planned as the second single and Trey Songz himself revealed that he had recorded a duet called "Hood Love" with Blige for the album. The song was previously recorded by Austin and Blige for Austin's debut solo album that never got released. The song has since been reworked and re-titled "We Got Hood Love". Following the album's release in the US the song charted at 82 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart due to strong digital downloads. The album cut "I Feel Good" entered the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart at number 83 on the issue dated February 6, 2010 and on the issue dated March 6, 2010, it reached a peak of number 68. whilst "Good Love" featuring T.I. entered the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart at number 59 and has been on the charts for around eleven weeks with a peak of 58.
Australian media outlets revealed that the international version of the album would be released with an altered track listing. The new version of the album will have a duet version of the song "Each Tear" with Australian artist Vanessa Amorosi. There are also four other versions of the track performed by Italian singer Tiziano Ferro and UK singer Jay Sean, Rea Garvey and K'naan. According to HMV, it will also feature the Led Zeppelin cover "Stairway to Heaven", "Whole Lotta Love" and the song "Stronger" from the soundtrack More Than a Game.  The International version of the album does not feature the songs "Said and Done", "We Got Hood Love" and "Kitchen".
Release and promotion
The album was originally slated for US release on November 24, 2009 but this was pushed back to December 15, 2009 which would have put Blige's album in a chart battle with Alicia Keys' new album The Element of Freedom. The album was then pushed back once more to December 21, 2009.
After a number of appearances to promote the song "Stronger" for the soundtrack Music Inspired by More Than a Game, Blige formally began the album's promotion in America by premiering the second single "I Am" at the American Music Awards (2009). The following day she appeared on the Lopez Tonight show for an interview and encore performance of "I Am". Blige also appeared on Jay Leno Show, The Today Show, and was also on a special aired on BET named Words & Sounds With Mary J. Blige. She was on a taping of The View. On April 21, 2010 Blige appeared on American Idol's charity telethon, Idol Gives Back to perform her cover of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" with Orianthi and Randy Jackson on guitars.
April 13, 2010, Blige appeared on an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show where she performed the hit "Each Tear" and her rendition of the Led Zeppelin classic, "Stairway to Heaven", which is featured on the Stronger with Each Tear international edition and on iTunes as a digital single.
- "The One", featuring Drake was released as the album's first single in the US and Australia on July 21, 2009. Featuring Drake, the song was co-written by Ester Dean and produced by Rodney Jerkins. It peaked at number sixty-three on the US Billboard Hot 100.
- "I Am" which was written by Blige, Johntá Austin and Ester Dean with music produced by Stargate, was released as the first international single (second in the US) in December 2009. It debuted on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart at number forty-six prior to its full release and peaked at number four upon release. It debuted on Japan's Oricon chart at number ninety-two and peaked at number eleven on that chart, while also debuting on the Hot 100 at sixty-seven and peaking at number fifty-five. It also served as the international lead single from the album.
- "Each Tear" was released as the second international single from the album in February 2010. There are different versions of the song. For Australia, it features singer-songwriter Vanessa Amorosi; for Italy, Tiziano Ferro; for the UK, Jay Sean; for Germany, Rea Garvey and for Canada, K'naan. Marcus Raboy filmed a video which was then edited to feature each of the guests in versions for their respective markets. It peaked at number one in Italy and number one-hundred-eighty-three in the UK, while failing to chart elsewhere. The single wasn't released in the United States.
- "We Got Hood Love" featuring Trey Songz was released as the third US single from the album on March 30, 2010. The song debuted at number eighty-two on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart following the album’s release due to strong digital downloads and radio airplay. A video was filmed with Mary J. Blige and football player George Wilson in Miami, while Trey Songz filmed his scenes in a New York City apartment. Chris Robinson directed the video for the single with a planned May 10, 2010 premiere through Vevo, though it actually appeared on Rap-Up on May 6, 2010.
- Other songs
- "Stairway to Heaven" was released on April 13, 2010 as an iTunes only release. Available as a download only and with no video the Led Zeppelin cover features Travis Barker, Randy Jackson, Steve Vai and Orianthi. Another Zeppelin cover, "Whole Lotta Love" features as the single's B-side. The songs only feature on the international version of the album. It was released again on April 22, 2010 to raise money for American Idol's "Idol Gives Back".
The album debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart with first-week sales of 332,000 copies. It also went to number one on the R&B chart. Blige is the ninth woman in SoundScan's 18-year history to see at least three albums all debut with an opening sales week of 300,000 or more. (2007). The album has now sold over 900,000 copies in the United States alone.
In the UK it debuted at number 33 on the main albums chart in its first week but dropped out of the top forty on its second week. On the UK R&B Chart it debuted at number four and fell nine places to number 13 in its second week.
Professional ratings Review scores Source Rating Allmusic  The Boston Globe (favorable) Chicago Tribune  Entertainment Weekly (B) Los Angeles Times  The New York Times (favorable) Rolling Stone  Slant Magazine  Spin  USA Today 
Reviewers' response to the album was mostly positive, currently holding a score of 75 (out of 100) on music review aggregation website Metacritic. Andy Kellman from AllMusic said "Stronger with Each Tear is a very good Blige album, if not quite a classic. One of her briefest sets, it is tremendously (almost studiously) balanced between all the ground she has covered so well before. That’s no criticism, though, since most of the songs are easily memorable and display so much range. Those who detest “The One” on principle, for its use of Auto-Tune, need only to forward to the album’s final song, a quiet and sparse throwback (to 40-plus years ago) production from Raphael Saadiq in which Blige professes new love to chilling effect." Mikael Wood from Spin magazine also liked the album saying "Mary J. Blige has spent the past decade effecting a slow transformation from R&B's queen of pain to the closest thing the genre counts to Oprah Winfrey. Judging by the titles on Blige's latest, that transformation is almost complete: 'Good Love,' 'I Feel Good,' 'I Love U (Yes I Du).' It's hard to believe this is the same woman who once felt the need to announce she was done with drama. Yet despite the conviction that those track names suggest—and despite solid writing and production contributions from A-listers [...] it feels less vital than 2005's terrific The Breakthrough or 2007's Growing Pains [...] The result is minor Mary—strong by many standards, a bit tepid by hers." 
Standard track listing No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length 1. "Tonight" Mary J. Blige, Aliaune Thiam, Edwin Birdsong, A. Harr, J. Jackson, Kevin Cossom The Runners, Konvict Muzik 4:00 2. "The One" (featuring Drake) Blige, Aubrey Graham, Ester Dean, Rodney Jerkins Darkchild 3:14 3. "Said and Done" Blige, Ryan Leslie Ryan Leslie 3:23 4. "Good Love" (featuring T.I.) Shaffer Smith, J. Reeves, R. Romulus, J. Yip Stereotypes, Ne-Yo 4:01 5. "I Feel Good" Smith, Tor Erik Hermansen, Mikkel Eriksen StarGate, Ne-Yo 3:47 6. "I Am" Blige, Johntá Austin, E. Dean, Hermansen, Eriksen StarGate 3:23 7. "Each Tear" Blige, Mitchum Chin, Dwayne Chin-Quee Supa Dups 4:15 8. "I Love U (Yes I Du)" Blige, Jamal Jones, E. Dean, D. Reed, D. Level, B. Williams Polow Da Don 3:23 9. "We Got Hood Love" (featuring Trey Songz) Blige, Bryan-Michael Cox, Kendrick Dean, Austin Bryan-Michael Cox, WyldCard 4:15 10. "Kitchen" Blige, Terius Nash Tricky Stewart, The-Dream 4:31 11. "In the Morning" Blige, Anesha Birchett, Antea Birchett D'Mile, Ron Fair 4:36 12. "Color" (from the motion picture Precious) Blige, Raphael Saadiq, LaNeah Menzies Raphael Saadiq 5:31
International edition No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length 1. "Whole Lotta Love" Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Willie Dixon RedOne, Ron Fair 3:34 2. "Tonight" Blige, Thiam, Birdsong, Harr, Jackson, Cossom The Runners, Konvict Muzik 4:00 3. "The One" (featuring Drake) Blige, Graham, Ester Dean, Jerkins Darkchild 3:14 4. "I Can't Wait" (featuring will.i.am) Blige, William Adams will.i.am 4:25 5. "Good Love" (featuring T.I.) Smith, Reeves, Romulus, Yip Stereotypes, Ne-Yo 4:01 6. "I Feel Good" Smith, Hermansen, Eriksen StarGate, Ne-Yo 3:47 7. "I Am" Blige, Austin, E. Dean, Hermansen, Eriksen StarGate 3:23 8. "Each Tear^" (featuring Jay Sean) Blige, Chin, Chin-Quee Supa Dups 4:32 9. "I Love U (Yes I Du)" Blige, Jones, E. Dean, Reed, Level, Williams Polow Da Don 3:23 10. "City on Fire" Jeff Bhasker, Pat Reynolds, Blige Jeff Bhasker, Pat Reynolds 3:34 11. "Stronger" (from motion picture More Than a Game) E. Dean, Chris Brown, Chauncy Hollis, Jamal Jones, Blige, D. Dalton Polow da Don, Hit-Boy 4:09 12. "In the Morning" Blige, Anesha Birchett, Antea Birchett D'Mile, Ron Fair 4:36 13. "Color" (from the motion picture Precious) Blige, Saadiq, Menzies Raphael Saadiq 5:31 14. "Stairway to Heaven" (featuring Travis Barker, Randy Jackson, Steve Vai and Orianthi) Jimmy Page, Robert Plant Ron Fair, Tal Herzberg 8:44 15. "I Am" (Dave Audé Remix) Blige, Austin, E. Dean, Hermansen, Eriksen Dave Audé 6:28
^ The international version of the album is the same as the UK version.
- In some markets Jay Sean is omitted from "Each Tear" and replaced with a regional artist:
- Kory Aaron - assistant engineer
- Mary J. Blige - executive producer, vocals, bck vocals, co-writer
- Dylan "3-D" Dresdow - mix engineer
- Jaime Martinez - assistant engineer
- Aubry "Big Juice" Delaine - engineer
- Steven Dennis - assistant engineer
- Pat Dillett - engineer
- Mike "Handz" Donaldson - engineer
- Mikkel S. Eriksen - engineer
- Ron Fair - vocal tracking
- Drew FitzGerald - creative director
- Brian "Big Bass" Gardner - Mastering
- Thaddis Kuk Harrell - vocal tracking
- Tal Herzberg - engineer
- Josh Houghkirk - mixing assistant
- Kendu Isaacs - producer, management
- Jaycen Joshua - mixing
- Jaha Johnson - management
- Kim Kimble - hair stylist
- Damien Lewis - engineer
- Giancarlo Lino - mixing assistant
- Anthony Mandler - photography
- Tony Mardini - engineer
- D'Andre Michael - make-up
- Peter Mokran - mixing
- Luis Navarro - assistant engineer
- Carlos Oyanedel - engineer
- Tal Oz - assistant
- Dave Pensado - mixing
- Marni Senofonte - stylist
- Jason Sherwood - assistant engineer
- Allen Sides - engineer
- Allen Sodes - string engineer
- The Stereotypes - engineer
- Phil Tan - mixing
- Brian "B-Luv" Thomas - engineer
- Sam Thomas - engineer
- Pat Thrall - engineer
- Jenifer Tracy - design
- Pat Viola - vocal engineer
- Eric Weaver - assistant
- Frank Wolf - string engineer
- Andrew Wuepper - engineer
Chart (2009/10) Peak
Canadian Albums Chart 42 Dutch Albums Chart 89 Greek Albums Chart 20 Italian Albums Chart 18 Swedish Albums Chart 38 Swiss Albums Chart 66 UK Albums Chart 33 UK R&B Albums Chart 4 US Billboard 200 2 US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums 1
Chart (2010) Position US Billboard 200 24
Chart procession and succession
The Element of Freedom by Alicia Keys
Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums number-one album
January 2, 2010
The Element of Freedom by Alicia Keys
Year Region Award Category Result 2010 United States NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Album Won
Country Date Format Label Catalog Australia December 18, 2009 CD, digital download Universal Music 2725654 Germany 0602527256542 Italy 060252725654 Greece Sweden Netherlands Switzerland France December 21, 2009 Barclay Records United States Matriarch Records 602527256542 Japan December 23, 2009 CD Universal Music UICF9065 Korea February 2, 2010 DF6424 Brazil Digital download
Country Date Format Label Catalog Germany  March 15, 2010 CD, digital download Universal Music 060252731839 Italy March 19, 2010 Greece Sweden Netherlands Switzerland United Kingdom March 22, 2010 Polydor Records 2725654 France Barclay Records 060252731839 Australia March 23, 2010 International re-release Universal Music Canada April 13, 2010 CD, Digital download Geffen Records Brazil April 20, 2010 CD Universal Music 602527318394 Australia April 23, 2010 Australian re-release 2736019 Japan May 12, 2010 CD, Digital download UICF1125
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- ^ "Trey Songz Lines Up Mary J. Blige, Plies Collabos". Rap-Up.com. http://www.rap-up.com/2009/10/09/trey-songz-lines-up-mary-j-blige-plies-collabos/. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
- ^ http://www.billboard.com/#/artist/mary-j-blige/chart-history/43746?f=367&g=Singles
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- ^ http://www.billboard.com/#/artist/mary-j-blige/43746
- ^ McCabe, Kathy (2010-02-09). "Aussie duo Vanessa Amorosi and Orianthi oblige soul queen Mary J Blige". News.com.au. http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity/aussie-duo-vanessa-amorosi-and-orianthi-oblige-soul-queen-mary-j-blige/story-e6frfmqr-1225828022527?from=public_rss. Retrieved 2010-03-05.
- ^ "Mary J. Blige - Stronger With Each Tear (International) (CD)". hiphopstore.ch. http://www.hiphopstore.ch/product_info.php?products_id=46628. Retrieved 2010-03-05.
- ^ "Stronger With Each Tear (International Version)(4 Bonus Tracks)【CD】-Mary J Blige (メアリージェイブライジ)｜Dance｜Dance & Soul｜Music｜HMV ONLINE Online Shopping & Information Site". Hmv.co.jp. http://www.hmv.co.jp/en/product/detail/3779907. Retrieved 2010-03-05.
- ^ Kaufman, Gil (2010-02-04). "Mary J. Blige Records Led Zeppelin's 'Stairway To Heaven' - News Story | Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV News". Mtv.com. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1631297/20100204/blige_mary_j.jhtml. Retrieved 2010-03-05.
- ^ "Video: Mary J. Blige f/ Drake – ‘The One’". Rap-Up.com. 2009-08-28. http://www.rap-up.com/2009/08/28/video-mary-j-blige-f-drake-the-one/. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
- ^ "Mary J. Blige’s ‘Stronger’ Coming This Year". Rap-Up.com. 2009-10-23. http://www.rap-up.com/2009/10/23/mary-j-bliges-stronger-coming-this-year/#more-29502. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
- ^ "Video: Mary J. Blige Visits ‘Lopez Tonight’". Rap-Up.com. 2009-11-23. http://www.rap-up.com/2009/11/23/video-mary-j-blige-visits-lopez-tonight/. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
- ^ "Album Cover: Mary J. Blige – ‘Stronger withEach Tear’". Rap-Up.com. 2009-11-30. http://www.rap-up.com/2009/11/30/album-cover-mary-j-blige-stronger-witheach-tear/. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
- ^ Rap-Up.com || Video: Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, & Black Eyed Peas Give Back on ‘Idol’
- ^ The One (feat. Drake) - Single by Mary J. Blige - Download The One (feat. Drake) - Single on iTunes
- ^ "Mary J. Blige : Single : I Am". Mjblige.com. http://www.mjblige.com/discography/detail.aspx?pid=2440. Retrieved 2009-11-18.
- ^ "Top Hip-Hop and R&B Songs & Singles Charts". Billboard.com. http://www.billboard.com/charts/r-b-hip-hop-songs#/artist/mary-j-blige/chart-history/43746?f=848&g=Singles. Retrieved 2010-03-05.
- ^ Urban Adult Contemporary | R&B Radio, Free Music, Top Songs, News and Charts |
- ^ Bills' Wilson appears in music video - Sports - The Buffalo News
- ^ Oh No They Didn't! - Trey Songz films a music video in my apartment. You are insanely jealous
- ^ Video Static: Music Video News
- ^ Rap-Up.com || Video: Mary J. Blige f/ Trey Songz – ‘We Got Hood Love’
- ^ Rap-Up.com || Video: Mary J. Blige f/ Trey Songz – ‘We Got Hood Love’
- ^ Amazon.com: Stairway To Heaven: Mary J. Blige: MP3 Downloads
- ^ iTunes Store
- ^ http://www.billboard.com/#/news/ke-ha-ends-boyle-s-dream-with-no-1-debut-1004058983.story
- ^ http://www.billboard.com/#/news/susan-boyle-spends-fifth-week-at-no-1-on-1004055812.story
- ^ http://www.billboard.com/#/news/susan-boyle-likely-to-beat-mary-j-blige-1004055400.story
- ^ Usher Dominates The Charts, Erykah Badu Streaks Into No. 4, Method Man, Raekwon & Ghostface Massacre Top 20 | SOHH.COM
- ^ a b Archive Chart
- ^ Archive Chart
- ^ a b Archive Chart
- ^ Archive Chart
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- ^ Kot, Greg. Review: Stronger with Each Tear. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved on 2010-01-12.
- ^ Reviewed by Melissa Maerz (2010-01-04). "Stronger With Each Tear | Music". EW.com. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20334277,00.html. Retrieved 2010-03-05.
- ^ "Album review: Mary J. Blige's 'Stronger With Each Tear' | Pop & Hiss | Los Angeles Times". Latimesblogs.latimes.com. December 21, 2009. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2009/12/album-review-mary-j-bliges-stronger-witheach-tear.html. Retrieved 2009-12-22.
- ^ Pareles, Jon. Review: Stronger with Each Tear. The New York Times. Retrieved on 2010-04-15.
- ^ "Stronger With Each Tear : Mary J. Blige : Review". Rolling Stone. 2010-01-04. http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/album/31348713/stronger_witheach_tear. Retrieved 2010-03-05.
- ^ "Mary J. Blige: Stronger with Each Tear | Music Review". Slant Magazine. 2009-09-21. http://www.slantmagazine.com/music/music_review.asp?ID=1953. Retrieved 2009-12-22.
- ^ a b Wood, Mikael. "Mary J. Blige, 'Stronger with Each Tear' (Matriarch/Geffen) | Spin Magazine Online". Spin.com. http://www.spin.com/reviews/mary-j-blige-stronger-each-tear-matriarchgeffen. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
- ^ Jones, Steve. Review: Stronger with Each Tear. USA Today. Retrieved on 2010-01-12.
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- ^ WebCite query result
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- ^ http://www.hmv.ca/Products/Detail/566320.aspx
- ^ "(Brazil) : Mary J. Blige - Stronger With Each Tear : CD Release". livrariacultura.com.br. http://www.livrariacultura.com.br/scripts/musica/resenha/resenha.asp?nitem=22097394&sid=87671737212327406588980218&k5=2D970C6C&uid=. Retrieved 2010-04-10.
- ^ Buy Stronger With Each Tear; Australian Edition Mary J Blige, R&B, CD | Sanity
- ^ Stronger With Each Tear (Int`l Version)(6BonusTracks, Reissue)【CD】-Mary J Blige｜R&B / Dance｜Dance & Soul｜Music｜HMV ONLINE Online Shopping & Information Site
Mary J. Blige Studio albums Live albumsThe Tour • My Collection of Love Songs (Live) Remix albums CompilationsBallads • Dance for Me • Mary J. Blige & Friends • Reflections (A Retrospective) Home media411 Videos • Live from Los Angeles • An Intimate Evening with Mary J. Blige: Live from The House of Blues Concert tours Related articles Book · Category Discography What's the 411? My Life Share My World Mary No More Drama Love & Life The Breakthrough Reflections - A Retrospective Growing Pains Stronger With Each Tear"The One" · "I Am" · "Each Tear" · "We Got Hood Love" My Life II... The Journey Continues (Act 1)"25/8" · "Mr. Wrong" Soundtracks Guest appearances"Check It Out" · "I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need to Get By" · "Can't Knock the Hustle" · "Lean on Me" · "911" · "Back 2 Life 2001" · "Come Close" · "I Try" · "Ain't No Way" · "Be Easy" · " Runaway Love" · "Wake Up Call (Mark Ronson Remix)" · "You're Welcome" · "Just Stand Up!" · "IfULeave" · "Remember Me" · "This Is To Mother You" · "What Child Is This" · "Hard Times Come Again No More" · "Bridge Over Troubled Water" · "It Ain't Over, Til' It's Over" · Promotional singles"Someone to Love Me (Naked)" · Book · Category
- "The One"
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