Mary J. Blige Proves It's All 'Just Fine' The songstress says we'd all ought to look on the bright side, and Alison Stewart says she's absolutely right. That's what makes "Just Fine" the best song in the world today.
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Alison Stewart tells why 'Just Fine' is the Best Song in the World Today

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Mary J. Blige Proves It's All 'Just Fine'

Alison Stewart tells why 'Just Fine' is the Best Song in the World Today

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(Soundbite of song, "The Good Life")

Mr. KANYE WEST (Hip-hop Artist): (Singing) Like we always do at this time, I go for mine. I got to shine. Now, throw your hands up in the sky. I go for mine, I got to shine. Now, throw your hands up in the sky.

ALISON STEWART, host:

My nominee for best song in the world today is inspired by another song.

(Soundbite of song, "The Good Life")

Mr. WEST: (Singing) Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey.

STEWART: Okay. Here's the back story. I was on the treadmill at the gym, doing my best to keep my heart healthy and my triceps from looking like bat wings, when on the TV monitor pops at the video with this Kanye West song, which I really like.

(Soundbite of song, "The Good Life")

Mr. WEST: (Singing) Whether you broke or rich, you gotta hear this. Havin' money's not everything but not having it is. I was splurging on trizz(ph). But when I get my car back activated, I'm back to Vegas cause.

Unidentified Woman: (Singing) Good life.

Mr. WEST: I always had a passion for flashing. Before I had it, I close my eyes and imagine the good life.

T-PAIN (Rapper): (Singing) It's the good life better than the life I live in.

STEWART: Now, that song usually pumps me up, gets my energy going. But I realized it's now a really very sad song. On the surface, Kanye West is most certainly living the good life. He's released "Graduation" has sold almost 2 million copies. He's up for eight Grammy nominations, including album of the year. And at any given moment, his entire outfit cost more than my monthly salary. He can get or buy anything he wants - except a hug from his mom.

So this lyric is especially for her.

(Soundbite of song, "The Good Life")

Mr. WEST: (Singing) in the sky.

T-PAIN: (Singing) I'm a get this on this TV mama, I'm a, I'm a (bleep).

Mr. WEST and T-PAIN: (Singing) Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey.

T-PAIN: (Singing) I'm good.

Mr. WEST: (Singing) Welcome to the good life, where (bleep) that sell D. Won't even get pulled over in their new V. The good life, let's go on a livin' spree. (Bleep) they say the best things in life are free. The good life.

STEWART: Kanye's mother, Donda West died while trying to get the best things in life. She raised a successful, loving son and had a distinguished career as an educator. Yet, she lost her life on November 10th due to complications from cosmetic surgery.

Well, as soon as that video ended, another came on, almost like an answer to Kanye West. It was Mary J. Blige, no stranger to tragedy herself, singing about how good life can really be if you just let it.

(Soundbite of song, "Just Fine")

Ms. MARY J. BLIGE (Hip-hop Artist): (Singing) No time for moping around. Are you kidding? And no time for negative vibes, cause I'm winning. It's been a long week, I put in my hardest. Gonna live my life, feels so good to get it right.

STEWART: After nearly self-destructing after years of trying to deaden the feelings of inadequacy with hard drugs and alcohol, Mary J.'s new release shows a transformation from ghetto princess to duchess of soul. And to a person at peace. She and her newest husband are Bible-reading suburbanites and she's no longer managed or surrounded by people who she says, quote, "just gave me enough money to drink and buy fur coats and clothes, just enough to stay blind and buried."

Mary J. has the money to live the good life, yet, she is clearly grateful for everything she has right at this moment.

(Soundbite of song, "Just Fine")

Ms. BLIGE: (Singing) So I like what I see when I'm looking at me, when I'm walking past the mirror. Don't stress through the night, at a time in my life, ain't worried about if you feel it. Got my head on straight, I got my vibe right, I ain't gonna let you kill it. You see, I wouldn't change my life, my life's just fine, fine, fine.

STEWART: So if you start piling on your new year's resolutions to make more money, to lose weight, to change so much about our lives, maybe this year, we can take Mary J.'s advice about some things. Look at what you have in your life, who you have in your life, and maybe you realize it may be just fine.

(Soundbite of song, "Just Fine")

Ms. BLIGE: (Singing) Feels so good, when you're doing all the things that you want to do. Get the best out of life, treat yourself to something new. Keep your head up high. In yourself, believe in you, believe in me. Having a really good time, I'm not complaining. And I'm a still wear a smile if it's raining. I got to enjoy myself regardless. I appreciate life. I'm so glad that it's fine. So I like what I see when I'm looking at me, when I'm walking past the mirror. Aint worried about you and what you gonna do. I'm a lady so I must stay classy. Got to keep it hot, keep it together. If I want to get better See I wouldn't change my life, my life's just fine. Fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, fine. Ooh.

STEWART: "Just Fine," the best song in the world today.

(Soundbite of song, "Just Fine")

Ms. BLIGE: (Singing) Just fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, ooooh. See I won't change my life, my life's just fine. I ain't gonna nothing get in my way.

Unidentified Woman: (Singing) I ain't gone let nobody bring me down, no, no, no.

Ms. BLIGE: (Singing) No matter what nobody has to say.

Unidentified Woman: (Singing) No way, no way, no way

Ms. BLIGE: (SinginG) I ain't gon' let nothing get…

STEWART: If you have a nominee for your best song in the world today, we love to hear it. You can always find it at npr.org/bryantpark. Remember it's got to be a good song, and have a good story too.

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