Saddam Hussein Was Apparently Quite the Mary J. Blige Fan

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Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

No hateration or holleration here. According to the new book The Prisoner in His Palace: Saddam Hussein, His American Guards, and What History Leaves Unsaid — written by former Army infantry officer Will Bardenwerper, who interviewed numerous members of the squad tasked with guarding and protecting Hussein — one of Hussein’s greatest pleasures in the weeks leading up his execution was listening to the catchy, soulful tunes of R&B goddess Mary J. Blige. “He’d always stop tuning if he stumbled across a Mary J. Blige song” on the radio, the book claims, and he also loved to frequently ride an exercise bike that he coined “Pony.” Additionally, Hussein’s fondness for treats was well-documented among the guards. “He supposed it made Saddam less intimidating,” Bardenwerper wrote, “that he could yield to the siren call of a sugary muffin the way anyone else might.”

Saddam Hussein Was Apparently Quite the Mary J. Blige Fan