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Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 18 December, 2018

Is Bruno Mars guilty of cultural appropriation?

Another day, another thing to argue about online.

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AN ONLINE PANEL show has sparked a fierce debate over the artistry of Bruno Mars.

Writer Sensei Aishitemasu argued that the Grammy-award winning singer - who is Filipino, Puerto Rican and Ashkenazi Jewish – plays up his “racial ambiguity” in order to cross genres.

Cultural appropriation is a concept in sociology dealing with the adoption of the elements of a minority culture by members of the dominant culture. In this case, it’s argued that Bruno Mars heavily borrows from elements black-dominated genres like funk and soul and receives more praise for it than black artists normally do.

What Bruno Mars does is he takes pre-existing work and he takes it word-for-word, recreates it, extrapolates it … He’s a karaoke singer. He’s a wedding singer.”

She also claimed that the only reason he won Album Of The Year at this year’s Grammy Awards is because white people love him “because he’s not black”.

Source: The Grapevine/YouTube

You can watch the full discussion here.

Bruno Mars is an extremely popular artist worldwide, moreso following the success of his most recent album 24k Magic. So, naturally, opinions were split on whether this was a fair statement or not.

bruno mars

However, a majority argued that Mars has always credited black music for allowing him to assume the platform that he has.


It’s an interesting conversation that will no doubt continue in forums and threads for days to come.

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