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Does Mary J Blidge Pull Off Zeppelin Classics, Listen and Decide For Yourself

04/13/2010
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A fearless Mary J. Blige is taking on rock icon -- Led Zeppelin. Her covers of two of rock's greatest songs, "Stairway To Heaven" and "Whole Lotta Love," will be available in the U.S. digitally on April 13 on iTunes. Blige will perform "Stairway To Heaven" along with "Each Tear," from her latest album Stronger WithEach Tear (Matriarch/Geffen), the same day on Oprah.

Blige crossed genres in 2005 with her successful mash-up of "One" with U2 and earlier this year with Andrea Bocelli for a recording and live Grammy performance of Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water." Blige says, "There's a group of fans out there that because of 'One' will appreciate my version of 'Stairway To Heaven'." In fact, at a private dinner party for Mary, U2's Bono was asked his thoughts about Mary remaking the famous song. He thought it was an incredible idea and added that she should tackle "Whole Lotta Love" as well. After his suggestion, Mary took Zeppelin full on and the journey began.

Joining Blige on the recordings is a stellar ensemble -- Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, rock guitar icon Steve Vai, Michael Jackson's former touring guitarist Orianthi, and bassist/"American Idol" judge Randy Jackson. Keyboardist and Geffen Records Chairman Ron Fair produced the nearly nine-minute "Stairway To Heaven" and co-produced "Whole Lotta Love" with RedOne, the Grammy award-winning producer who created multiple #1 hits for Lady Gaga. Both tracks also appear on the U.K. version of Stronger WithEach Tear. (Listen to Stairway here and Whole Lotta Love here)

Blige adds: "I am a Led Zeppelin fan. I've listened to their music since I was a child, and it's always moved me, especially 'Stairway To Heaven'. I make songs my own by going deep inside myself and translating them to 'what would Mary do.'"

According to Randy Jackson, "People are going to be blown away... Mary's throwing down! She's rockin' out!"

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