Usher Says He Should Carry The “King Of R&B” Title

Jaelani Turner-Williams Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with…
Photo Credit: Paul Morigi/Getty Images

While speaking to Bevy Smith, host of SiriusXM’s Radio Andy, Usher admitted that he should be crowned the sought-after ‘King of R&B’ title.

Usher isn’t shy about proclaiming the ‘King of R&B’ title. While the argument has taken social media by storm since R&B singer Jacquees titled his 2019 album King of R&B, Usher dialed into SiriusXM’s Radio Andy to chat with co-host Bevy Smith about taking the throne.

“You know that people call you the king of R&B,” Smith said to Usher on the radio show. “And from our conversation right now, I feel like you are ready to really own that title and to ascend to that throne. Are you willing to accept that, king of R&B?”

“I mean, you call me that, I’ll definitely carry it,” the eight-time Grammy winner responded. “I’mma tilt my crown knowing that I’m standing on the shoulders of all of the icons of our time. It is Michael [Jackson] that I stand on the shoulders of. It is James Brown that I stand on the shoulders of. It is Ronald Isley I stand on the shoulders of. It is Luther Vandross, it is Barry White, it is Teddy Pendergrass, it is all of these incredible artists like Marvin Gaye that will never be forgotten as long as there’s a breath in my body to breathe.”

Elsewhere it the conversation, Usher said his one-time mentor Diddy sounded “nuts” for saying that R&B is dead.

“When I hear people say stuff like ‘What happened to R&B?’ or ‘R&B is dead’…it’s not,” Usher said. You just don’t understand the basis of it. Matter fact, maybe I need a reminder, an understanding of what it is. How can something come out 20-some-odd years ago, and then all of a sudden have a resurgence in a way that people just wanna talk about it, sing it, enjoy it? That’s because it’s classic. That’s “Superstar.” That’s R&B.”

“That’s what R&B is. R&B is timeless, it ain’t gonna go away,” Usher continued. “So, when I do hear people, even like Puff saying ‘R&B is dead,’ he sounds nuts to me. It sounds crazy, you know, especially knowing he was a pioneer in understanding and beneficiary of it. You know, the source that is R&B created the breath of life that was breathed into Hip Hop.”

“There wouldn’t be—there would be no hip-hop if there were not R&B. So it’s blasphemous to hear people say anything—especially hip-hop cats—to say anything about R&B. It’s like, nah, it’s been there. It’s gon’ stay there.”

Usher recently added 25 more shows to his Las Vegas residency, extending his time at the Dolby Live at Park MGM through July 2023. With his current ‘My Way’ residency lasting until late-October, his next round of shows at Dolby Live will begin next March.

Listen to Usher’s interview with Radio Andy below.

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