There have been many pretenders to the throne, but there’s still only one queen of R&B, and her name is Mary J. Blige. Mary’s a woman in an industry full of girls, and on her new single I Am she’s not showing any signs of slowing down. Written by perennial hitmaker Johnta Austin and newcomer Ester Dean and produced by Norwegian super-duo Stargate, I Am opens with lush orchestration that jumps into a bouncing beat sure to have your head-nodding. As always, the real story here is Mary J. and her epic voice. There’s still no one who can break it down like Mary (apologies to Keyshia Cole), but her biggest strength may be her ability to hold back, letting the track breath in all the right places. Long story short, I Am’s going to be a hit, and it deserves all the acclaim it gets. I dare anyone on the Booth to disagree. Mary’s new album Stronger With Each Tear is due to hit our eardrums on December 20. Happy holidays indeed.