Soul Survivor 

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Mary J. Blige is a warrior songstress. She's survived fights with girls in her Yonkers neighborhood that left her face scarred, a volatile relationship with singer Cedric "K-Ci" Hailey, and years of drug abuse. Even an association with Suge Knight, one of the music industry's most notorious characters, couldn't derail her ascent into R&B royalty. Despite repeated attempts to renounce the "drama" that has bordered her career, it's Blige's struggle that has made her who she is and earned her a legion of devoted fans. While rumors continue to churn about her personal life, the safe money's on Mary to come out on top, singing. The queen of hip-hop soul holds court at the Richmond Coliseum Tuesday, July 17, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $42-$72. Call 262-8100 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.

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