Since it’s Black History Month, it’s only right that soul, jazz and blues musicians of yesteryear get recognized for their contributions to American culture. Bruno Mars understands their importance, and praised their value in popular music in the latest issue of Latina magazine.

In his cover story, Mars talks about a variety of subject, including how black music influenced his musical style and gave America its groove.

“When you say ‘black music,’ understand that you are talking about rock, jazz, R&B, reggae, funk, doo-wop, hip-hop, and Motown," he explained. "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. I’m a child raised in the ‘90s. Pop music was heavily rooted in R&B from Whitney [Houston], Diddy, Dr. Dre, Boyz II Men, Aaliyah, TLC, Babyface, New Edition, Michael [Jackson], and so much more," he continued. "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."

Mars concluded, "Most importantly, they were the superstars that set the bar for me and showed me what it takes to sing a song that can get the whole world dancing, or give a performance that people will talk about forever. Watching them made me feel like I had to be as great as they were in order to even stand a chance in this music business. You gotta sing as if Jodeci is performing after you and dance as if Bobby Brown is coming up next.”

This should explain why Mars is such an exceptional performer and why he gives it all on the stage. He paying homage to the black musicians that came before him including Michael Jackson and Prince.

Speaking of Prince, Mars is in talks to lead the Prince Tribute at the 2017 Grammy Awards. He's more than capable of delivering a respectable salute to the late Purple One.

You can read Bruno Mars' interview in its entirety at

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