Babyface is weighing in on the King of R&B debate.
The musician joined Bevy Smith this week on SiriusXM’s Bevelations, where she mentioned that Usher had been on the show and was willing to take the crown.
Babyface responded, “It’s interesting. When you say king, what makes you king? Is it how many hits that you have or is it how many people you touch?
“You know, how many people that you give that feeling to where when they think of home, they think of R&B, and that you take them and you make them feel good.
“R&B’s a really hard one to figure out like a king of, even when we picked the King of Pop. And when Michael picked the King of Pop… it was overwhelming with the hits that he had and the songs that he had.
“So it’s just a little overwhelming. If you’re doing it based off of hits, then we can go down the line and see how many top 10s you had… how many number ones you’ve had and you could pick it that way, but then one may argue that even though you had that, that wasn’t my song.”
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Babyface insisted that if it wasn’t for the controversy surrounding R. Kelly, he would have been the King of R&B.
The singer and record producer added that some people might go to a Chris Brown concert and know all the words, but others will go and “love how it feels, but we won’t know everything.”
Babyface went on, “It’s really hard to say because today the audiences are so different from each other, it’s not like everybody is on the same page as they were with Michael Jackson back in the day. So it’s a little harder.”
He added, “I will not name a king. I will not call one, because I love all the artists and if I was gonna lean, I would obviously lean towards Usher because, you know, it’s connection.
“But it’s unfair for me to just do that.”
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Elsewhere in the interview, Babyface also spoke about learning from the younger generation of female R&B artists: