Mary J Blige performs free gig in Times Square

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Mary J Blige has given a free concert in New York's Times Square.

The Grammy winning singer is working with a deodorant company in support of her organisation, the Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now, aka FFAWN, which is dedicated to helping women gain the confidence and skills they need to reach their full potential.

Mary J Blige said: "I think to be confident is what the biggest thing is for women. To hold your head up, feel good about your life inside and out, do not worry about what anyone else has to say. Always give yourself a second chance."

The 39-year-old, who is from New York herself, said her single I Am is as much about her fans as it is about her. "It is important to let your fans know that you are them as well and that you are in the struggle with them. That is what gives you legs in your career, it sustains you," she said.

I Am is Mary J Blige's second single on her ninth album Stronger with Each Tear.