'Doubt,' by Mary J. Blige.


Mary J. Blige may not have time for the haters, but that doesn't mean she doesn't hear their voices. Indeed, those nagging naysayers echo through her song "Doubt,'' from her 2014 album "The London Sessions.'' "You should know better,'' whisper the voices. "You'll never go further ... You'll never be better.''

If even the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul can wrestle with self-doubt, I suppose it's OK for the rest us.

"Doubt'' is a powerful addition to Blige's songbook, equal parts vulnerability and swagger, and a new video -- timed to coincide with her March 11 appearance on the "King Lear''-does-hip-hop TV drama "Empire'' -- captures both sides of the song's dichotomy.

Most of the video is simply Blige singing alone in an empty theater, a gimmick that would make a lot of performers seem insubstantial. Not Blige: This is a singer with an immensely regal presence, her rich voice beautiful and Earth-shaking as thunder.

"Now you're looking at a leader,'' she sings, with unrepentant...

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