Mary J. Blige "feels good" to have opened "so many doors" for other women.

Mary J Blige is proud of her impact

Mary J Blige is proud of her impact

The 53-year-old singer has reflected on her legacy and "absolutely" knows the impact she has had on others and admitted making a difference is "what sustained" her over the years.

She told 'Entertainment Tonight': "I can say that, in my life right now, I opened so many doors. I've given women a voice to speak their truth. It seems like everyone from pop to R+B to every female is telling their life story or something that's happened because I let them know in 1994 that it's OK.

"I use it as my therapy, and so a lot of people are using their music as their therapy as well...

"It feels good to say that I am the reason for a lot of things that are going on right now in the industry... I'm grateful to watch the talent and these women that are expressing themselves through their songs."

The 'Family Affair' singer also credits music for having "healed" her and giving her an outlet to express difficult emotions.

She said: "Music has healed me tremendously. It is the reason why I'm probably still around. It's been a vessel to help me get so much pain out...

"We go through so much. It's not for no reason. It's to help someone else, for someone else to see us falling and get back up, and falling and get back up, and falling and get back, and still come and be triumphant and not be bitter."

Mary "really, really realised" she was talented at the age of just seven and recalled how she was "singing for [her] life" in the early 1990s, knowing finding success would be able to lift her family out of poverty.

She said: "My family was still in the projects when 'Real Love' was released. I was still in the projects.

"I remember... just really singing for my life, like, literally singing for my life, singing to get my family out of the projects, singing to save our lives because we did not have a great one where we lived."

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