The singer explained why she decided not to take on the track and said "nothing about that song was Mary J. Blige."
Of the dozens of Rihanna songs that are fan favorites, "Umbrella" is a classic hit single from the Barbadian star. "Umbrella" was released back in 2007 and was featured on Rihanna's third studio album Good Girl Gone Bad, and because it's embedded in pop culture as belonging to the singer, it's difficult to imagine that any other artist could have tackled the track. However, The-Dream has previously stated that when he helped pen "Umbrella" (along with Jay-Z, Tricky Stewart, and Kuk Harrell) he had Britney Spears in mind as the singer, and now Mary J. Blige has revealed that she passed on the song before it was given to Rihanna.
Mary J. Blige was visiting Watch What Happens Live when a fan asked why she decided not to take on "Umbrella." She replied, "It was during Grammy time for me, it was a big Grammy time. I was nominated for eight Grammys and I was trying to get myself together for that. And during that time, that’s when ‘Umbrella’ came to me and I couldn’t do anything with it because I was so busy with my own life and I was like, you know what? It doesn't even sound like me anyway," she said.
Did Blige regret her decision? "No, because everything about that song was so tailor-made for Rihanna and nothing about that song was Mary J. Blige." Can you imagine "Umbrella" as a Mary J. track?