Power: Book II, a book, and now, a two-part series titled, The Wine Down. Yesterday evening, at the 40/40 club, Mary J. Blige held a private screening of The Wine Down. With the first episode airing tonight on BET and the second to follow on March 8th, The Wine Down is a primetime talk show hosted by our reigning queen of R&B.

Photo: Spencer Pazer/BET

Before the show premiered, I sat with Mary for the pre-wine down, where she dished on the show’s history and what to expect from the coming episodes. She entered the lounge era where I was seated, delivering a stunning smile and ––of course–– style. Her printed Versace two-piece was an electrifying lime green that commanded all the attention it got.

The idea developed during the first quarantine of the pandemic. Mary became concerned about what people were feeling, the heavy drinking, and the abuse that came about during this time. She soon turned her concern into action when she decided to generate a platform for artists to visually express, that despite what’s shown on social media and television, “they too are going through it with them”, said the legendary artist.

Yung Miami on The Wine Down
Photo: Spencer Pazer/BET
Taraji P. Henson on The Wine Down
Photo: Spencer Pazer/BET

The Wine Down is set to feature her girlfriend and people she admires while Mary hosts a safe space to listen and accept their truths about topics such as sex, love, and business. In line with creating a secure environment for her guests, The Wine Down will follow the format of Lebron James’ The Shop, where audience members do not exist. “The goal is to build trust.” Said Mary, not only in the space of The Wine Down but in Mary too, as the listener and advocate of getting stories out, leaving no room for any embarrassing moments or moments for the interviewee “to feel set up for a 1,2 punch“ emphasized Mary. She plans to be in the writer’s room making sure the questions are safe for those sharing. She hints at a time when felt disregarded in a discussion and wants to ensure her guests never feel that way.

Tune into BET tomorrow for The Wine Down and see not only who, Mary speaks with, but what do they have to say.

Words by: Jodi Whyte
Edited by: Renée Bu