Mary J. Blige has confessed she was a ''horrible person'' at the start of her career.

The 'Someone To Love Me' singer garnered a reputation for being a ''bad girl'' in the 90s as she was battling self-confessed problems with drugs and alcoholism, looking back now she believes claims her behaviour was a side-effect of her feeling vulnerable as a person.

In an interview with the Metro newspaper, she explained: ''I was a so-called bad girl or horrible person, the reputation that I had.

''I was young and I was trying to protect myself as best I could. And I have always had a really good monitor for trouble, especially back then.''

The 42-year-old star insists the mistakes she made in her past have made her a wiser person and she would advise young musicians to always learn from their errors.

Mary - who stars in Christmas movie 'Black Nativity' alongside Jennifer Hudson and Forest Whitaker - said: ''When you're young, you're going to make a lot of mistakes but the only way to learn is to make the mistakes, so you have to let them make them. That's how I learned. By making a thousand mistakes.''