Mary J. Blige is blessed to be alive because she knows how close she came to death at the height of her addiction nightmare.
The No More Drama hitmaker battled drug and alcohol dependency when she was younger and admits she could have met the same fate as Whitney Houston, who passed away in 2012 after suffering an overdose.
"People just let you do what you want to do, because they want to keep getting paid," she tells The Hollywood Reporter. "It's easier to deal with you if you're drunk and you don't know what's going on and you just want to party. They're (aides) yes-ma'am-ing you to death. And if you don't have something in you that recognises this or that wants to survive this, you're not gonna survive."
Blige's troubles began when she was a teenager trying to escape her difficult childhood.
"I was going through so many different things," she adds. "I've been sexually harassed and abused... since I was a child all the way up into adulthood. These are the things that made me rebel and made me drink and made me do drugs. I just wanted to forget that episode from five, and then I wanted to forget what happened at nine, and then I wanted to forget what happened at 16, and then I wanted to forget everything that just kept happening."
However, the 47-year-old is now moving forward with her career after filing for divorce from husband Martin 'Kendu' Isaacs in July, 2016. She has recently released her 13th studio album, Strength of a Woman, and she has been receiving recognition and nominations for her role in Dee Rees' new movie Mudbound.
And on Thursday (11Jan18) she was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame - on her 47th birthday.
"I'm just so grateful," she says. "I'm just praising God, and I'm just thanking Him, because it's just beautiful."