Stevie Wonder has weighed in on the debate that has divided music fans after Bruno Mars was accused of ‘cultural appropriation.’
Last week, a deep-dive analysis of Bruno’s music on The Grapevine claims that he is ‘profiting’ from ‘black music’ as a non-black artist of colour.
YouTuber Sensei Aishitemasu says that he ‘plays up his racial ambiguity to be able to do cross-genre and going into different places.’
Black Eyed Peas singer Will.i.am recently told Metro.co.uk that it is ‘awesome’ that other cultures mimic black culture as long as ‘they know where it came from’ because ‘the whole point is to get black culture to spread.’
Now, Stevie has added his two cents, calling BS on the debate while admitting that his a big fan of the Finesse hitmaker.
‘Honestly, here is the deal,’ he told TMZ on Friday. ‘God created music for everyone to enjoy so we can not limit ourselves with people’s fears and insecurities.’
The Isn’t She Lovely singer added: ‘He is a great talent so the other stuff is just bullshit.’
The comments from the controversial YouTuber created a huge debate online with many fans defending the 24K Magic singer citing that he always pays homage to the black artists who inspire his Grammy award-winning music – so we couldn’t go without asking Will.i.am on what his take was.
The Where Is The Love? artist told us that: ‘Everyone should be free to do what they want to do.’
When we asked him what he would say to offended fans he added: ‘The whole point is to get black culture to spread to the entire world to the point where we are not a minority and we have opportunities outside of music.
‘Music is a tool to inspire and we are doing just that and creating jobs just outside dancing and singing.’
The 43-year-old also urged fans to have a wider perspective.
‘First, we have to understand the point and the bigger picture and it is awesome that we have other cultures that want to do and mimicking and be like our culture,’ he said on Thursday night.
More: Stevie Wonder
He concluded: ‘From that point of view we will be better off when people are celebrating our culture just as long as they know where it came from.’
In the Grapevine videom entertainment host Jameer added of Bruno: ‘He creates great art but a lot of cultural appropriators do. The thing about Bruno Mars is his racial ambiguity helps him transcend genres and cultures.
‘He is literally the guy invited to everybody’s cookout because you don’t know if he’s black, you don’t know if he’s Latino, you don’t know if he has white in him.’
But it was Sensei’s comments that sparked the debate that has divided fans online.
Sensei added: ‘What Bruno Mars does, is he takes pre-existing work and he just completely, word-for-word recreates it, extrapolates it.
‘He does not create it, he does not improve upon it, he does not make it better. He’s a karaoke singer, he’s a wedding singer, he’s the person you hire to do Michael Jackson and Prince covers.
‘Yet Bruno Mars has an Album of the Year Grammy and Prince never won an Album of the Year Grammy.’
Got a story?
If you've got a story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk Entertainment team by emailing us firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we'd love to hear from you.