‘I’ve listened to their music since I was a child,’ says the R&B diva, who recorded ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and ‘Whole Lotta Love.’
By James Montgomery, with reporting by Larry Carroll
You wouldn’t peg Mary J Blige as the black-light-and-tapestry sort, but, as has become readily apparent in recent weeks, she absolutely loves Led Zeppelin.
In early February, reports began circulating that Blige had re-recorded Zeppelin’s classic “Stairway to Heaven,” working with Travis Barker, “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson and guitarist Steve Vai on the track, which is slated to appear on the international reissue of her Stronger With Each Tear album, due Monday.
But after she had recorded “Stairway,” Blige continued to get the Led out, covering another Zeppelin classic — the thunderous “Whole Lotta Love” — for the album too. And when MTV News caught up with her on the Essence Black Women in Hollywood red carpet, she told us all about channeling her inner Robert Plant for the tracks, a process that came much easier than you’d probably imagine.
“I did Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and ‘Whole Lotta Love’ — it’s crazy,” she said. “I am a Led Zeppelin fan. I’m not going to say I’ve been to their concerts, but I’ve listened to their music since I was a child, and it’s always moved me, especially ‘Stairway to Heaven,’ and ‘Whole Lotta Love’ is just fun.”
Blige also said she recorded another new song — a “club record” called “I Can’t Wait” — for the re-release. And while it’s only slated to hit shelves outside the U.S., she hopes her fans will get a chance to hear all the new songs pretty soon.
“I want y’all to hear it,” she laughed.