Share My World

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Share My World
Mary J. Blige Share My World.jpg
Studio album by
Released April 22, 1997 (1997-04-22)
Recorded 1996–97
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
Share My World
The Tour
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. 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.

Guest appearances are made 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 reviews from most music critics, and earned Blige numerous accolades and nominations, including a Grammy Award nomination for Best R&B Album in 1998. The album became her first to chart in the top ten internationally, including Canada, Sweden and the UK, while it entered the top forty in countries such as New Zealand, Germany and France.

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 her second album My Life (1994), 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 both the US Billboard 200 and R&B Albums chart 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 five weeks earlier.

In addition to debuting number one in the US, the album also debuted in the top ten in countries such as Canada, Sweden and the UK. The album also reached the top forty in France, Germany and New Zealand.

Share My World was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipments of one million copies in the US on July 1, 1997. On November 17, 1997, Share My World was later certified double platinum by the RIAA and during an episode of MTV Live, Blige was presented with the plaque by host Ananda Lewis.[4] The album has since sold three million copies domestically by May 1999, garnering Blige's third consecutive album to reach multi-platinum status by the RIAA.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[5]
Chicago Tribune 2/4 stars[6]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5 stars[7]
Entertainment Weekly B+[8]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[9]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2.5/5 stars[10]
Spin 8/10[11]
USA Today 3.5/4 stars[12]
The Village Voice A−[13]

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."[14] 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."[15] 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."[16] 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."[13]

Jonathan Bernstein from Entertainment Weekly was more critical, finding Share My World "uneven" and the songwriting "meandering and half finished."[17] 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.[10]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Ceremony Category Result
25th Annual American Music Awards Favorite Soul/R&B Album Won
25th Annual American Music Awards Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist Nominated
40th Grammy Awards Best R&B Album Nominated
Soul Train Music Awards Best R&B/Soul Album - Female Nominated
Soul Train Music Awards Best R&B/Soul Single - Female (for "Everything") Nominated
Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards Best R&B/Soul Album Won
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Female Artist Nominated

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Intro" Poke & Tone, Rich Nice Poke & Tone, Rich Nice 1:24
2. "I Can Love You" (featuring Lil' Kim) Blige, Kimberly Jones, Carlos Broady, Nashiem Myrick Rodney Jerkins 4:46
3. "Love Is All We Need" (featuring Nas) Blige, James Harris III, Terry Lewis, Nasir Jones, Rick James Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis 4:14
4. "Round and Round" Blige, Poke, DJ Premier, Shawn Carter Poke & Tone, George “Golden Fingers” Pearson (co) 4:24
5. "Share My World (Interlude)" Poke & Tone, Rich Nice Poke & Tone, Rich Nice 0:30
6. "Share My World" Blige, R. Jerkins Rodney Jerkins 5:07
7. "Seven Days" (featuring George Benson) Malik Pendleton Malik Pendleton 5:09
8. "It's On" (duet with R. Kelly) R. Kelly R. Kelly 4:42
9. "Thank You Lord (Interlude)" Kelly Price, R. Jerkins Rodney Jerkins 0:44
10. "Missing You" Babyface Babyface 4:16
11. "Everything" J. Harris III, T. Lewis, Hachidai Nakamura, Rokusuke Ei, James Brown, Linda D. Creed, Thomas R. Bell, John Starks, Fred Wesley Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis 4:59
12. "Keep Your Head" Blige, LaTonya Blige-DaCosta Poke & Tone, George "Golden Fingers" Pearson 3:48
13. "Can't Get You Off My Mind" (featuring The LOX) Blige, R. Jerkins, Jason Phillips, Sean Jacobs, David Styles Rodney Jerkins 4:39
14. "Get to Know You Better" Bryce Wilson Bryce Wilson 4:32
15. "Searching" (featuring Roy Ayers) Blige, LaTonya Blige-DaCosta, Xenos DaCosta, R. Jerkins, Fred Jerkins, Roy Ayers Rodney Jerkins, Fred Jerkins 5:05
16. "Our Love" Chuck Jackson, Marvin Yancy James Mtume 5:21
17. "Not Gon' Cry" Babyface Babyface 4:55
UK bonus track
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
18. "(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman" Gerry Goffin, Carole King, Jerry Wexler James Mtume 2:57

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.[18]
  • "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.[19]




Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1997) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[20] 71
Canada Top Albums/CDs (RPM)[21] 4
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[22] 11
French Albums (SNEP)[23] 31
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[24] 37
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[25] 27
Scottish Albums (OCC)[26] 90
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[27] 8
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[28] 41
UK Albums (OCC)[29] 8
UK R&B Albums (OCC)[30] 1
US Billboard 200[31] 1
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[32] 1


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[33] Platinum 100,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[34] Gold 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[35] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[36] 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. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "Mary J. Blige's Share My World Tops Album Chart". MTV. Viacom International Inc. 1 May 1997. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ Allmusic review
  6. ^ Kot, Greg (April 25, 1997). "Share My World (MCA)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 18, 2016.
  7. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). "Mary J. Blige". The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0857125958.
  8. ^ Entertainment Weekly review
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ a b Moon, Tom (2004). "Mary J. Blige". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. pp. 83–4. ISBN 0743201698.
  11. ^ Robson, Britt (June 1997). "Records". Spin. p. 118. Retrieved September 18, 2016.
  12. ^ USA Today review
  13. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (November 4, 1997). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved September 18, 2016.
  14. ^ [3]
  15. ^ [4]
  16. ^ [5]
  17. ^ [6]
  18. ^
  19. ^ Credits: Share My World. AllMusic. Retrieved on 2011-01-17.
  20. ^ " – Mary J. Blige – My Life". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  21. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue {{{chartid}}}". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  22. ^ " – Mary J. Blige – My Life" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  23. ^ " – Mary J. Blige – My Life". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  24. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  25. ^ " – Mary J. Blige – My Life". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  26. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  27. ^ " – Mary J. Blige – My Life". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  28. ^ " – Mary J. Blige – My Life". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  29. ^ "Mary J. Blige | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  30. ^ "Official R&B Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company.
  31. ^ "Mary J. Blige Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  32. ^ "Mary J. Blige Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  33. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Mary J. Blige – Share My World". Music Canada.
  34. ^ "Japanese album certifications – MAry J. Blige – Share My World" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan.
  35. ^ "British album certifications – Mary J. Blige – Share My World". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Share My World in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  36. ^ "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]