“People love it!’ Mary J. Blige says about Power Book II: Ghost, the first of several spinoffs of the Courtney Kemp-created series.

“People love everything about it and the crazy thing is that Michael was so amazing because people hated him in the first season,” the Oscar nominee and multiple Grammy winner adds of her Ghost co-star Michael Rainey and the evolution of his character Tariq St. Patrick on the Starz series. “He has transitioned into this thing where women around me are talking about how much they love him and how they feel sorry for Tariq and how he has grown into a man.”

Blige was speaking during Deadline’s Contenders Television awards-season event. The triple NAACP Image Award-winning Ghost debuted on the premium cabler last September and took the NYC saga of the St. Patrick family that started in the original Power higher and harder.

“Once we started and everything, you know, there was a lot of like old members from the original, crew,” Rainey told me of his transition to leading man on Ghost after years on Power. “So, it was like, you know, the family was back together in a way. So, I was comfortable, I got the groove kind of quick.”

Blige, who portrays drug queenpin Monet Stewart Tejada, and Rainey were joined on the virtual panel by Cliff “Method Man” Smith. The founding member of the legendary Wu-Tang Clan plays top-dollar defense attorney Davis McLean on the 50 Cent-EP’d Ghost, which has been renewed for a second season.

“When people watch the show, they can see themselves in all different kinds of life. This is one of the most diverse shows, casts, crew out right now as far as TV goes,” The Wire alum Smith said of Ghost’s appeal. “The way, you know, Courtney and the writers navigate their way through reality and fantasy is, how to say, flawless, for lack of a better word.”

Check back Monday for the panel video.

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