Whole Damn Year

Album: The London Sessions (2014)

Songfacts®:

  • The second single from Mary J. Blige's London Sessions album, the American R&B singer spent most of the 2014 summer working on the project with British producers Disclosure, Sam Smith, Jimmy Napes, Naughty Boy and Sam Romans in the English capital city.
  • Penned by Scottish singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé, this song finds Blige taking a number of seasons to get over a tumultuous breakup.

    Winter took most of my heart
    Spring punch right in the stomach
    Summer came looking for blood
    And by autumn I was left with nothing


    "Mary is one of the greats of black music," Sandé told Q magazine of the collaboration. "It was great to see the way that she still wants to push boundaries and experience new sounds."
  • The black-and-white music video takes a stark look at domestic violence through the dramatic stories of various couples. Blige doesn't play a character in the clip, but she experienced abuse in her real life. "I was in a hellish relationship. When you hate yourself, you draw people to you who hate you, too," she told The Guardian in 2002. "I kept getting the same lesson over and over and finally knew there was something I had to learn. I [prayed], 'Father, what should I do?' He said, 'Love yourself and put yourself first.' You get sick and tired of being sick and tired, of people beating on you. It was the day I was almost murdered. I screamed with all the breath I had left as my boyfriend physically tried to take me out of this world. There were weapons involved. I said, I can't do this no more."

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