How Mary J. Blige 'Learned to Be Happy' with Herself after Kendu Isaacs Divorce

Mary J. Blige is opening up about how she brought the happiness back into her life following a controversial divorce that drained her emotionally and financially.

It’s been a year now since the court signed off on Blige’s divorce from her ex-husband/manager Martin "Kendu" Isaacs and the R&B legend is doing her best to thrive in her new life after being married for over a decade.

Mary J. Blige & Kendu Isaacs in West Hollywood, California on Feb. 28, 2016. | Photo: Getty Images

Mary J. Blige & Kendu Isaacs in West Hollywood, California on Feb. 28, 2016. | Photo: Getty Images

Blige, 48, spoke to PEOPLE recently about learning to be happy with herself:

“I’m very content, and I’m happy with myself. I learned to be happy with just Mary, just enjoying my own company, me by myself most of the time. I’m grateful.”

THE NEW MARY

Her new life, according to the “No More Drama” hitmaker, includes working out, eating right and hanging out with friends.

“I try to keep my mind positive, I stay working out, I try to eat right and treat people right,” Blige said. “I have fun too, don’t get it twisted, I go out with my friends. I laugh, I joke, I have wine. I do all of that.”

She continued:

“It’s not easy, it’s hard doing the right thing all the time, but if this is going to keep me out of trouble, I choose this. I don’t let anything get the best of me.”

DIVORCE CONTROVERSY

Blige filed for divorce from Kendu in 2016, citing “irreconcilable differences.” The singer later accused her ex of infidelity, claiming that he cheated on her during their marriage.

Unfortunately, their divorce turned messy after Kendu insisted on getting $130,000 in monthly spousal support from Blige, claiming he had been “unemployable” since their split.

MOVING ON

It’s not clear whether the nine-time Grammy winner gave in to Kendu’s request, but the two settled out of court three months before the divorce was finalized in June 2018.

Blige has since been living her best life, making strides in her career and showing up at red carpet functions.

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#London #BAFTA #UmbrellaAcademy 📸 by @dandremichael

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MARY'S HONOR

On Sunday, Blige was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the BET Awards in Los Angeles. In introducing the living legend on stage, pop star/entrepreneur Rihanna said:

“You have set the bar for relatable, timeless, classic music. You opened multiple doors for female artists in this industry and on behalf of all the women that came after you, like myself, thank you for being you so we can feel comfortable being ourselves.”

Blige has made a mark in the history of music, and it’s good to hear that she’s taking charge of her personal life as well.

“If I could tell my younger self something,” Blige shared with PEOPLE. “I would tell her don’t be afraid of your imperfections, because one day people are going to love you for them.”

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