Mary J. Blige Says R&B Becomes “Popular Music” When Justin Timberlake or Adele Tackle the Genre


While discussing the state of R&B with Diddy, the Queen of Hip Hop-Soul praised the genre and new generations of artists forging their own paths.

Questions posed by Sean “Diddy” Combs on social media have sparked several conversations about the state of R&B. The genre has come under intense scrutiny for years, with some claiming that R&B’s influence in popular culture has diminished significantly since its reign decades ago. The New Generation has sonically changed much of what the world classifies as R&B these days, and Diddy recently posed the question, “Who Killed R&B?” before returning to ask his followers how they define the genre.

He took his conversation on Instagram Live with his good friend Mary J. Blige. “You can’t kill something that’s in our DNA,” Blige said. “He’s going to keep passing from generation to generation to generation to generation. They were trying to kill him.”

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“Before I say what I’m going to say, let me say this: I want to thank every radio station in the country that plays R&B music and sincerely supports it,” the singer continued. “But, you know, a lot of radio stations killed him, for the same thing Tank was saying. They’re not gonna jump on the bandwagon of the hottest stuff, but let me just say this. We gotta keep up. alive as R&B singers.”

She went on to name herself and many of her peers like Chaka Khan, Etta James, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Jazmine Sullivan and SWV, once again stating that the talents of these artists, and those like them, cannot be “killed”. Blige also encouraged people not to complain about radio stations and their lack of R&B support, as she saw this as sheepish behavior that is also contributing to the demise of the genre. “Be a shepherd,” she added.

“They want to call it ‘Popular Music’ with Adele and Justin Timberlake, so now it’s ‘Popular Music’. But it was popular music! We got it!”

Watch more of Diddy and Mary J. Blige’s conversation clip on why R&B isn’t dead below.


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