Mary J. Blige regrets not reaching out to Amy Winehouse before the British singer's death in 2011, because she is convinced she could have saved her life.
Blige admits the tragic star inspired her to record in London, but they never met.
The soul icon says, "When I first heard Amy's album, I was like, 'She's incredible'. And then when I saw her perform. It was scary how amazing she was, all that emotion and that almost Nina Simone-type singing."
Blige recognized a kindred spirit in Winehouse but could not get to her in time to help her conquer her drink and drugs demons, as the soul star did years before.
She tells Billboard, "I felt connected to her in terms of the darkness and the searching for something other than the hell she was living in. I know that's what she was searching for... That's what you're searching for when you're doing drugs and alcohol - you're trying to get out of that hell that's in your head.
"I would tell so many people, 'I need to talk to her, I need to get to her'. Especially when my life turned around and I chose life. I wanted to somehow get to her, to tell her, 'It's OK to choose life'."
Winehouse died of accidental alcohol poisoning at the age of 27.