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Blige returned to performing in January, 2009 by performing the song "Lean On Me" at the Presidential Inauguration Committee's, "We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial". Blige also performed her hit 2007 single, "Just Fine", with a new intro at the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball after Barack Obama was sworn in as the first black president on January 20, 2009.

Blige was honored at the 2009 BET Honors Ceremony and was paid tributes and honors by Anita Baker and Monica. While Blige toured with Robin Thicke in 2008, she worked on her ninth studio album "Stronger with EachTear". The lead single, "The One", which features the Canadian rapper Drake, was released for airplay on June 5, 2009, and was officially and digitally released on July 21, 2009. She performed the single at Hot 97's 2009 Summer Jam Concert. Blige also appeared in an AT&T Shedding Styles commercial in July of 2009. The commercial featured "The One", and was used to promote the single. The album was originally titled Stronger but was renamed to"Stronger with Each Tear" mid-November 2009. Originally slated to be released November 24, 2009, Blige's ninth album was released December 21, 2009 because "The One" wasn’t successful commercially, and also because Blige wanted to have time for additional recording. "Stronger with Each Tear" was to be released along with the premiere of her reality show on BET, but the reality show has been delayed into 2010. The song, "Stronger", which is the lead single from the soundtrack to the basketball documentary "More Than a Game", was confused as the second single from "Stronger with Each Tear" in August of 2009, but this was proved false as the song was not included on Blige's ninth album because her label chose not to include it. The second single from "Stronger with Each Tear", “I Am", was performed by Blige at the 2009 AMAs on November 22, 2009. The single was released for airplay on November 23, 2009, and will be officially and digitally released on December 8,

Blige featured on KRS-One and Buckshot's album Survival Skills on the track "The Way I Live". Blige also played the role of Tanya in the 2009 Tyler Perry movie, I Can Do Bad All By Myself, where she performed the song, "I Can Do Bad All By Myself". Blige has been announced as a guest judge on the 2010 series of American Idol as well. She also recorded the song "Color" for the 2009 motion picture Precious and it will be featured on her ninth studio album as well. On November 4, 2009, Blige sang the The Star-Spangled Banner at Yankee Stadium before the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies played the last game (Game 6) of the World Series. In December of 2009, Blige will be the marquee performer on the annual Photo MARKUS KLINKO & INDRANI Christmas in Washington television special. Blige will perform two songs from her ninth album, "Stronger with Each Tear", including her new single, "I Am", as well as her previous hits, "No More Drama" and "Be Without You" as well as the song "Color" which is featured on both Stronger with Each Tear & the Precious soundtrack, on December 20 on A&E Television's "Private Sessions".


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