In an interview with Latina magazine, Bruno Mars pointed to the history of American music and praised black people for shaping the industry.

“When you say ‘black music,’ understand that you are talking about rock, jazz, R&B, reggae, funk, doo-wop, hip-hop, and Motown. Black people created it all. Being Puerto Rican, even salsa music stems back to the Motherland [Africa]. So, in my world, black music means everything,” he said.

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“It’s what gives America its swag. I’m a child raised in the ‘90s. Pop music was heavily rooted in R&B from Whitney, Diddy, Dr. Dre, Boyz II Men, Aaliyah, TLC, Babyface, New Edition, Michael, and so much more. As kids this is what was playing on MTV and the radio. This is what we were dancing to at school functions and BBQs. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for these artists who inspired me. They have brought me so much joy and created the soundtrack to my life filled with memories that I’ll never forget,” he added.

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07: (Center) Bruno Mars performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

SANTA CLARA, CA – FEBRUARY 07: (Center) Bruno Mars performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show at Levi’s Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

“Most importantly, they were the superstars that set the bar for me and showed me what it takes to sing a song that can get the whole world dancing, or give a performance that people will talk about forever. Watching them made me feel like I had to be as great as they were in order to even stand a chance in this music business. You gotta sing as if Jodeci is performing after you and dance as if Bobby Brown is coming up next.”

Mars has previously attributed 90s influencers and West Coast hip-hop for the sound of his latest album, “24K Magic.” And in his Latina interview, he said that 90s pop music was rooted in and influenced by R&B acts such as Michael Jackson, Boyz II Men, TLC, and Aaliyah.

 

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