Work In Progress (Growing Pains )

Album: Growing Pains (2007)
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  • Blige told MTV News about the Growing Pains album: "It's not reliving where I've been. [The album is] just based on where I am. So many people are like, 'I'm perfect.' I'm so imperfect, that's why I'm able to let everything out and let people see everything. 'Cause I'm just a mess like every other person that's a mess out there. And it's going to take probably a lifetime to get to a point in my life where I'm like, 'Oh, I'm perfect.' I don't think that will ever happen. So as long as I'm a human being and I'm not perfect, I'm able to say I'm having some growing pains. Because in order to sustain where you are once you made such a breakthrough that everyone is looking at you, now everyone is like, 'Ooh, is she gonna make a mistake?' Yes, I'm going to make a mistake. Yes, I'm still gonna do things. And that's what Growing Pains is about, it's about finally not whining about the pain, Mary J. Blige, and accepting the pain that comes with growing."
  • Growing Pains was named Best Contemporary R&B album at the 2009 Grammy Awards.
  • Peaking at #1 on the albums chart, Growing Pains was Blige's fourth chart-topping album in America. It was also her eighth consecutive album to reach #1 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
  • "Work In Progress" was written and produced by Shaffer Smith and Chuck Harmony. Smith, better known by the stage name Ne-Yo, wrote the 2004 hit "Let Me Love You" for fellow R&B singer Mario before rising to fame with his debut album, In My Own Words, in 2006. Harmony is a Nashville-based songwriter who previously worked with Ne-Yo on Celine Dion's Taking Chances track "I Got Nothin' Left." The pair continued their collaboration, churning out the 2009 Rihanna hit "Russian Roulette," among other projects.
  • Harmony also co-wrote Fantasia's Grammy-winning single "Bittersweet" with songwriter Claude Kelly. In a 2011 interview with You Know I Got Soul, he explained the difference between his creative process with Ne-Yo compared to Kelly. He said, "Ne-Yo more so starts at the top like what he wants to talks about. He might ask me to do a track like this and I do the track and then he writes to it. Me and Claude write at the piano and then I do the track."


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