Rise and Shine
Mary turned to drugs and alcohol early in life and struggled with addiction for years. The music industry's partying lifestyle accelerated her downward spiral. "No one was telling me the truth," Mary says. "I had someone say to me, 'Girl, it's okay to drink and be promiscuous.' ... It was a lot of me just not loving or respecting myself and not thinking I deserved anything better."
Mary says her turning point came in 2001. After the loss of a close friend, her grief was compounded by the death of fellow hip-hop star Aaliyah on August 25 and the 9/11 tragedy.