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Mary J. Blige a student of Howard? Not yet, but maybe someday.

Mary J. Blige performs on ABC's "Good Morning America," July 2, 2010. (Reuters/Lily Bowers)

Picture this: A chart-topping R&B diva, on the cusp of 40, switches gears to become a D.C. college undergrad.

If this scenario, starring one Mary J. Blige, seemed somewhat improbable early Tuesday, by the end of the day it appeared -- well, who knows, maybe possible, someday. But not this year.

The buzz got started Friday when Blige performed a Central Park concert for ABC's "Good Morning America." After the TV cameras stopped rolling -- but the Web videographers in the crowd kept going-- she told the crowd her big news: "I never got the chance to graduate from high school, but they gave me my honorary diploma the other day ... And I got accepted into Howard University for the class of 2014." She made a similar comment in an interview published in the New Orleans Times-Picayune the following day.

True? The news seemed to catch Howard, the nation's premier historically black university, by surprise. Early Tuesday, a rep for the school declined to address Blige's prospects at the school, noting that information about applicants and admissions is confidential. By late in the day, the university put out a statement suggesting Blige's comments may have been somewhat premature. They were kind about it, though, praising her "resilience and dedication" to her craft: "We encourage Ms. Blige to continue her studies and welcome her consideration of Howard University in the future. We are happy to work with Ms. Blige on completing the formal process for admission."

A manager for Blige disputed that the singer meant to say she had been accepted. Blige (who, as it happens, is promoting a new fragrance line these days) has taken a strong interest in education lately. Last week, she spoke at the graduation for an all-girls public school in the Bronx; she also held a fundraiser to sponsor scholarships for its top students. Earlier in June, she was the guest at an NYC schools ceremony honoring grads who beat the odds to claim their diplomas.

By The Reliable Source  |  July 7, 2010; 1:04 AM ET
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No high school diploma and she wants to go to Howard?!?

Posted by: whatyoutalkinboutman | July 7, 2010 7:17 AM | Report abuse

She previously received her GED so she is eligible. The honorary High School diploma, obviously carries no weight.

Posted by: joejoe5 | July 7, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Wow, for someone who didn't finish high school, she carries herself well. She is better spoken than many basketball players with one or two years of college/university "experience" at many premiere schools (Michigan, Maryland, Cal, USC etc..)

Posted by: jabreal00 | July 7, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

People love to hate wow, hopefully Mary will keep doing her and following her dreams!! And Howard should not be the only college she should look into..something about some of those students..they think their shi.. don't smell LOL...and I am not sure why...anyone can get a good education if they apply themselves..what works for one may not work for another!! Follow your dreams and never allow anyone to rain on them!!

Posted by: shadon1 | July 7, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Why would she want to go to Howard?

Anyways, that's exciting and whatever she does I'm happy for her. She's come a long way from the 'Real Love' days and it's been a pleasure as a fan and human being to watch her blossom into the woman that she is today.

Posted by: lulu202 | July 7, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

We welcome Mary J. Blige and anyone else who considers Howard University as their choice for college. a proud HU alumni, Howard students do not act like their stuff does not stink, that's a stigma that has dogged the University for decades. The same thing was said about us in the 80's and that's not true. What's wrong with someone operating in excellence? I bet if they were on Georgia Avenue doing unlawful things you would be calling them thugs, right? Come on now, get a grip. I applaud anyone who wants to pursue higher education whether its at Howard or anywhere else.

Posted by: brikki | July 7, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

"And I got accepted into Howard University for the class of 2014." So, what did she REALLY mean to say?

*sound of crickets chirping*

Posted by: linroy62 | July 7, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Props to Mary J.!

BTW, doesn't anyone else remember when 50-something Pearl Bailey matriculated at Georgetown? It was huge news here in DC, and she had a ball being a student and learning.

Both ladies send the public message that learning is a lifelong endeavor, and one that is to be both respected and enjoyed. No down side.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | July 8, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

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