She’s recorded 13 studio albums, sold more than 100 million records worldwide, won nine Grammys, and received an Oscar nomination for her supporting role in the 2017 film “Mudbound,” as well as a second nom for the film’s original song “Mighty River.”
Earlier this year she was nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an honor she duly deserves, is the subject of a recently released Amazon Prime Video documentary (“Mary J. Blige’s My Life”), and she shimmered and shone on the buff-colored red carpet at this year’s Met Gala in a golden gown with a plunging neckline and a slit up to her hip. Mary J. Blige, the long-reigning Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, is without question at the top of her professional game.
Meanwhile, the “No More Drama” singer has had lots of drama in her personal life. At one point she owed millions in back taxes, she endured a contentious (and expensive) divorce, and she’s had nothing but albatrosses and financial losses hanging around her neck when it comes to her real estate dealings. Last year, after a decade of being on and off the market at steadily declining prices, Blige sold a nearly 13,000 square foot mansion in affluent Saddle River, N.J., for $5.5 million, a lot of dough by just about any standard but a fraction of the initial asking price of $13.9 million and a heart-stopping $6.8 million less than the $12.3 million she paid for the estate in 2008.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Blige has another house in New Jersey’s tony Cresskill, a suburban 1990s contemporary that’s fallen into a sad state of neglect, that she’s been trying to unload for more than two years. The 7,000-ish-square-foot home initially came for sale over the summer of 2019 with an asking price of $2.25 million. However, despite there being no takers, the price was boldly increased several months ago to $2.75 million and just this week the price inexplicably ballooned to $3 million.
Records show Blige acquired the leafy 1.1-acre spread just over 20 years ago for $1.95 million, and current listings, held by Sharon Kurtz at Compass, are scant with details. There isn’t a single photograph of the interior spaces and just one of the cedar- and stone-clad home’s exterior, suggesting the property is well in need of sprucing up. Listings do indicate, however, there are six bedrooms and eight bathrooms, plus two powder rooms, three fireplaces, a gym, an office, and guest quarters. Out back, a huge entertaining deck ringed by arborvitae trees overlooks a swimming pool that two years ago, when the house first came to market, was “empty but for an algae-green puddle of water.”
About 20 miles (and an hour’s drive) north of Midtown Manhattan, Cresskill is no stranger to high-profile residents. Late Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes once owned a home about half a mile from Blige’s white elephant, and several years after he spent $13.9 million on a gargantuan mansion in Alpine, N.J., Tracy Morgan sold his comparatively humble former home in Cresskill for $1.2 million, a million bucks less than he’d paid eight years earlier.