Share My World

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Share My World
Mary J. Blige Share My World.jpg
Studio album by Mary J. Blige
Released April 22, 1997 (1997-04-22)
Recorded 1996–1997
Studio The Hit Factory
(New York City)
Battery Studios
Chicago Trax
The Chicago Recording Company
(Chicago, Illinois)
Flyte Tyme Studios
(Edina, Minnesota)
The Record Plant
(Los Angeles, California)
Genre R&B[1]
Length 65:15
Mary J. Blige chronology
My Life
(1994)My Life1994
Share My World
The Tour
(1998)The Tour1998
Singles from Share My World
  1. "Love Is All We Need"
    Released: March 18, 1997
  2. "I Can Love You"
    Released: May 6, 1997 (U.S. only)
  3. "Everything"
    Released: August 4, 1997
  4. "Missing You"
    Released: October 2, 1997 (UK only)
  5. "Seven Days"
    Released: March 20, 1998

Share My World is the third studio album by American R&B singer-songwriter Mary J. Blige, released by MCA Records on Earth Day, April 22, 1997. The album became Blige’s first to open at number one on the US Billboard 200 album chart, and it also became her first top-ten album in the United Kingdom, peaking at number eight on the UK Albums Chart. Moreover, it is her first album where she serves as an executive producer, alongside Steve Stoute, who also shared executive producer credits on the album. With guest appearances by hip hop and R&B stars such as Lil' Kim, Nas, The LOX, George Benson, Roy Ayers and R. Kelly, the album was released to generally positive to mixed reviews from most music critics, and earned Blige numerous accolades and nominations, including a Grammy Award nomination for Best R&B Album in 1998. It is certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for excess of three million copies sold in the US.[2]


Share My World marked several personal and professional changes in Blige’s life and career. Following the departure of label head Andre Harrell the year before, Blige defected from Uptown Records in favor of its MCA parent. Meanwhile, she severed professional ties with long-time producer, manager and mentor Sean "Puffy" Combs shortly before the production of Share My World began. His absence was filled with a bevy of high-profile producers, such as: Rodney Jerkins, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Babyface, Bryce Wilson and R. Kelly. The end result produced an album that was less entrenched in the hip hop soul of her first two albums, and replaced with a style that was more aligned with R&B.

During the making and run of 1994's My Life, Blige had reportedly experienced clinical depression, while also battling drug and alcohol addiction, and enduring an often turbulent relationship with K-Ci Hailey — all of which heavily influenced the dark mood of that album. In late 1996, however, Blige reportedly made a concerted effort to clean up her life and subsequently found herself in more positive frame of mind while recording Share My World, which influenced the albums noticeably lighter mood.

Release and reception[edit]

Commercial performance[edit]

For the Billboard issue dated May 10, 1997, Share My World debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 with sales of 240,000 copies, marking Blige's first official number-one album on the Billboard 200 chart.[3] The album had ended the four-week stint of Life After Death by The Notorious B.I.G., which was released posthumously. Moreover, the album debuted at number one on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, marking Blige's third consecutive number-one album on the latter chart. Share My World has sold over 3 million copies in the United States alone, receiving a 3x Platinum certification on May 19, 1999.

In addition to debuting number one in the United States, the album also debuted in the top ten in the United Kingdom, peaking at number-eight on the UK Albums Chart, thus giving Blige her first top-ten album in that country. And on the Canadian Albums Chart, where the album reached number-four. It also reached number thirty-seven on the German Albums Chart.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[4]
Chicago Tribune2/4 stars[5]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[6]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[7]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2.5/5 stars[9]
USA Today3.5/4 stars[11]
The Village VoiceA−[12]

Alex Henderson of AllMusic wrote in his review, "Her strongest and most confident effort up to that point, Share had much more character, personality, and honesty than most of the assembly line fare dominating urban radio in 1997. For all their slickness, emotive cuts like "Get to Know You Better," "Love Is All We Need," and "Keep Your Head" left no doubt that Blige was indeed a singer of depth and substance. Although high tech, the production of everyone from R. Kelly (with whom she duets on the inviting "It's On") and Babyface to Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis doesn't come across as forced or robotic, but, in fact, is impressively organic."[13] Ernest Hardy of Rolling Stone commended Blige's transition from sound to singing, writing that "On Share My World even Blige's harshest critics will have to concede that she's moved beyond sound to real singing. Listen to "Seven Days," "Missing You" and the already-classic "Not Gon' Cry" (also on the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack), and you hear Blige's signature ache married to newfound technique. There's shading, depth and control in her vocals now."[14] Steve Jones of USA Today said the songs "run the usual gamut of love themes, but it's Blige's powerful, emotional deliveries and street sensibility that separate her from the competition."[15] Village Voice critic Robert Christgau said "Blige is a diva for her own time. As befits her hip hop ethos, she's never soft if often vulnerable, and as befits her hip hop aesthetic, she plays her natural vocal cadences for melodic signature and sometimes hook. She redefines the New York accent for the '90s. And she's taken two straight follow-ups to the next level."[12]

Jonathan Bernstein from Entertainment Weekly was more critical, finding Share My World "uneven" and the songwriting "meandering and half finished."[16] Tom Moon later wrote in The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004) that the record displayed "Blige's hit-song savvy but fewer memorable performances" than previous albums.[9]

Accolades and nominations[edit]

Throughout late 1997, and onto early 1998 Share My World became a critical and commercial success. On July 1, 1997, nearly three months after the album's release, Share My World was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipments of one million copies in the US.[2] Five months later, on November 17, 1997, the album received a 2x Platinum certification by the RIAA, for two million copies sold in the US alone.[2] On January 26, 1998, the album won the American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B Album at the 25th annual ceremony.[17] The following month, it was nominated for Best R&B Album at the 40th Grammy Awards, losing to Baduizm by Erykah Badu.[18] Blige also received additional nominations such as an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Female Artist, and two Soul Train Music Award nominations for Best R&B/Soul Single, Female (for the single "Everything") and a nomination for Best R&B/Soul Album, Female, losing both to Erykah Badu in both categories. In addition, Blige won a second award for the album at the Soul Train Lady of Soul awards, where she picked up an award for Best R&B/Soul Album of the Year (solo).[19]

Track listing[edit]

1."Intro"Poke & Tone, Rich NicePoke & Tone, Rich Nice1:24
2."I Can Love You" (featuring Lil' Kim)Mary J. Blige, Kimberly Jones, Carlos Broady, Nashiem MyrickRodney Jerkins4:46
3."Love Is All We Need" (featuring Nas)Blige, James Harris III, Terry Lewis, Nasir Jones, Rick JamesJimmy Jam & Terry Lewis4:14
4."Round and Round"Blige, Poke, DJ Premier, Shawn CarterPoke & Tone, George “Golden Fingers” Pearson (co)4:24
5."Share My World (Interlude)"Poke & Tone, Rich NicePoke & Tone, Rich Nice0:30
6."Share My World"Blige, R. JerkinsRodney Jerkins5:07
7."Seven Days" (featuring George Benson)Malik PendletonMalik Pendleton5:09
8."It's On" (duet with R. Kelly)R. KellyR. Kelly4:42
9."Thank You Lord (Interlude)"Kelly Price, R. JerkinsRodney Jerkins0:44
10."Missing You"BabyfaceBabyface4:16
11."Everything"J. Harris III, T. Lewis, Hachidai Nakamura, Rokusuke Ei, James Brown, Linda D. Creed, Thomas R. Bell, John Starks, Fred WesleyJimmy Jam & Terry Lewis4:59
12."Keep Your Head"Blige, LaTonya Blige-DaCostaPoke & Tone, George "Golden Fingers" Pearson3:48
13."Can't Get You Off My Mind" (featuring The LOX)Blige, R. Jerkins, Jason Phillips, Sean Jacobs, David StylesRodney Jerkins4:39
14."Get to Know You Better"Bryce WilsonBryce Wilson4:32
15."Searching" (featuring Roy Ayers)Blige, LaTonya Blige-DaCosta, Xenos DaCosta, R. Jerkins, Fred Jerkins, Roy AyersRodney Jerkins, Fred Jerkins5:05
16."Our Love"Chuck Jackson, Marvin YancyJames Mtume5:21
17."Not Gon' Cry"BabyfaceBabyface4:55
UK bonus track
18."(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman"Gerry Goffin, Carole King, Jerry WexlerJames Mtume2:57

Sample credits

  • "Everything" contains a sample of "You Are Everything" as performed by The Stylistics; "The Payback" as performed by James Brown; "Sukiyaki" as performed by A Taste of Honey.
  • "Get to Know You Better" contains an interpolation of "My Cherie Amour" as performed by Stevie Wonder.[20]
  • "I Can Love You" contains a sample of "Queen Bitch" as performed by Lil' Kim.
  • "Love Is All We Need" contains a sample of "Moonchild" as performed by Rick James.
  • "Round and Round" contains a sample of "Go Back Home" as performed by Allen Toussaint.
  • "Share My World" contains an interpolation of "Share My World" by DeBarge.


Credits for Share My World adapted from AllMusic.[21]




Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1997) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[22] 71
Canada Top Albums/CDs (RPM)[23] 4
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[24] 11
French Albums (SNEP)[25] 31
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[26] 37
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[27] 27
Scottish Albums (OCC)[28] 90
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[29] 8
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[30] 41
UK Albums (OCC)[31] 8
UK R&B Albums (OCC)[32] 1
US Billboard 200[33] 1
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[34] 1


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[35] Platinum 100,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[36] Gold 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[37] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[38] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jenkins, Craig (July 10, 2014). "11. Mary J Blige, Share My World - The 50 Best R&B albums of the '90s". Complex. Retrieved October 5, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c [1]
  3. ^ "Mary J. Blige's Share My World Tops Album Chart". MTV. Viacom International Inc. 1 May 1997. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Allmusic review
  5. ^ Kot, Greg (April 25, 1997). "Share My World (MCA)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 18, 2016. 
  6. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). "Mary J. Blige". The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0857125958. 
  7. ^ Entertainment Weekly review
  8. ^ Hardy, Ernest (April 25, 1997). "Mary J. Blige: Share My World : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2007-11-14. Retrieved 2012-08-20. 
  9. ^ a b Moon, Tom (2004). "Mary J. Blige". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. pp. 83–4. ISBN 0743201698. 
  10. ^ Robson, Britt (June 1997). "Records". Spin. p. 118. Retrieved September 18, 2016. 
  11. ^ USA Today review
  12. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (November 4, 1997). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved September 18, 2016.
  13. ^ [2]
  14. ^ [3]
  15. ^ [4]
  16. ^ [5]
  17. ^ [6]
  18. ^ [7]
  19. ^ [8]
  20. ^
  21. ^ Credits: Share My World. AllMusic. Retrieved on 2011-01-17.
  22. ^ " – Mary J. Blige – My Life". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  23. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue {{{chartid}}}". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  24. ^ " – Mary J. Blige – My Life" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  25. ^ " – Mary J. Blige – My Life". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  26. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  27. ^ " – Mary J. Blige – My Life". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  28. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  29. ^ " – Mary J. Blige – My Life". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  30. ^ " – Mary J. Blige – My Life". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  31. ^ "Mary J. Blige | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  32. ^ "Official R&B Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company.
  33. ^ "Mary J. Blige Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  34. ^ "Mary J. Blige Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  35. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Mary J. Blige – Share My World". Music Canada. 
  36. ^ "Japanese album certifications – MAry J. Blige – Share My World" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. 
  37. ^ "British album certifications – Mary J. Blige – Share My World". British Phonographic Industry.  Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Enter Share My World in the search field and then press Enter.
  38. ^ "American album certifications – Mary J. Blige – Share My World". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]