Mary J. Blige thrilled at becoming a double Oscar nominee

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Singer Mary J. Blige arrives for the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Exposition Center on January 21, 2018, in Los Angeles, California. | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES — Mary J. Blige is still getting used to the idea of being a double Oscar nominee.

The nine-time Grammy-winner was nominated for two Academy Awards on Tuesday: Supporting actress and original song for “Mudbound.”

Blige said she spent the morning “yelling and screaming and about to cry.” The 47-year-old called the nominations beautiful.

“This is a new one, the actress nominee, and this is beautiful. This is really special,” she said. “So is the song because it’s something that I love to do. I love to sing. And that’s something I’ve been doing for a very long time that’s special to me, and the Oscars have recognized it. So it’s all special.”

Directed and co-written by Dee Rees, who was nominated Tuesday for adapted screenplay, “Mudbound” is a story about two families set in the Jim Crow South. Blige plays Florence Jackson, a sharecropper’s wife who becomes an unlikely friend and ally to the landowner’s wife, played by Carey Mulligan.

Blige said playing Florence added a new dimension to her life, even after production wrapped.

“I take Florence with me, and I take all the experiences and emotion with me,” Blige said. “But I don’t mind because Florence is a beautiful, powerful, confident woman, and she gave me a lot of confidence and strength in my struggles in my trials that I was dealing with the time.”

The character, Blige said, is like a song.

“She’s just inspiring a whole other side of me,” Blige said. “A deeper me; a deeper confidence where I don’t have to depend on so many things, things that the world uses or says that makes you beautiful. Florence is a stripped-down, beautiful woman, and that’s a song in itself.”

Blige’s original song for the film, “Mighty River,” written with Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson, plays over the closing credits.

“Mudbound” also made history with its nomination for cinematographer Rachel Morrison, the first woman ever recognized in that category.

Blige said working with Rees and Morrison on the film “made my life easy.”

“(Dee) gave me new life with Florence and she gave me courage to play this character,” the singer said. “And Rachel was just amazing. Seeing these women every day on set, it was so refreshing and such a treat and just beautiful.”

SANDY COHEN, Associated Press Entertainment Writer

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