Thicke's Blue-Eyed Soul Hits Big Across Racial Divide

Hollywood-raised Canadian R&B star proud his fans are 'mostly grown black women'

By Victoria Floethe,  Newser User

Posted Sep 29, 2008 3:57 PM CDT

(Newser) – In a society that says white men can't dance, Robin Thicke has surmounted the race barrier: His single, Lost Without U, topped Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for 11 weeks last year, outperforming songs by Beyonce, Usher, and Alicia Keys. "Eighty or 90% of my fans are African Americans, mostly grown black women," Thicke tells the Washington Post.

At 16, the son of TV star Alan Thicke was writing for other artists, including Brandy. "Our women really dig him; they want to go to bed with him. And for most of the brothers, it seems like we're OK with that!" says one radio host. But Thicke believes his race "will always be a part of the conversation, until I surpass those boundaries by just becoming Robin Thicke."

Paula Patton and Robin Thicke arrives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Gala.
Paula Patton and Robin Thicke arrives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Gala.   (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
Rap artist 50 Cent, right, congratulates Robin Thicke after he was nominated for best R&B artist during the BET Awards nominations.
Rap artist 50 Cent, right, congratulates Robin Thicke after he was nominated for best R&B artist during the BET Awards nominations.   (AP Photo)
Robin Thicke's single Lost Without U was number one on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for 11 weeks last year.
Robin Thicke's single "Lost Without U" was number one on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for 11 weeks last year.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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"I've heard white guys with soulful voices before, but Robin Thicke is like the one who's been given the card." - Donnie Simpson, host of WPGC's morning show.

"You can tell he's singing with his whole soul, which is the definition of R&B music. That's what everybody's responding to. To me, Robin's race is secondary." - Danyel Smith, editor in chief of Vibe magazine.

"My wife's father was a sharecropper from Mississippi," Thicke says. "But it doesn't matter where you go. We could be in L.A. or New York and go into a room where we're not welcome." - Robin Thicke

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