During a recent interview with Latina, Bruno Mars, who’s been compared to the likes of James Brown on more than a dozen occasions, took the time to break down why American music is black music.

“When you say ‘black music,’” Mars begins, “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. It’s what gives America its swag.”

Mars then explained how vital black music was to him while growing up.

“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.”

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with Bruno? Read the full interview here.

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