When the spot debuted on Monday, many people thought it was a late April Fool’s prank: What is Mary J. Blige doing singing about chicken snack wraps for Burger King?
“Crispy chicken, fresh lettuce, three cheeses, fresh dressing!” the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul sings, while images of processed chicken fingers are doused with various sauces. “Wrapped up in a tasty tortilla!”
Check the video here:
The outcry has reportedly led to Burger King pulling the ad, but I don’t think it’s such a bad move for Blige. Her image is rather humorless, and the BK spot shows that she’s willing to send herself up. And she’s not racking up hits like she used to: While her 2005 album “The Breakthrough” sold an astounding 729,000 copies its first week in stores, her sales have tailed off since, with last year’s horribly titled “My Life II… The Journey Continues (Act 1)” debuting at No. 5 on Billboard’s Top 200 albums chart with 156,000 first-week sales. Over on the Hot 100 chart, she hasn’t scored a Top 10 hit since “Be Without You” in 2005; her highest charting single since was 2007′s “Just Fine,” which reached No. 22, and nothing else has hit the Top 30.
Blige recently appeared as a mentor on “American Idol,” but the Burger King spot — blasphemous as many thought it was — did something her recent career moves haven’t been able to do: They got people talking about Mary J. Blige again. And if fans debate that she’s above doing fast food ads, maybe it leads to a renewed appreciation of her talents and what she should stand for, which in the end isn’t all that bad.