Bruno Mars Controversy 2021: Accused of Cultural Appropriation, What is the Fuss All About?

Bruno Mars Controversy is not new; in 2018, the artist was accused of “Cultural Appropriation,” and it still follows him.

Bruno was caught in a heated debate when an activist accused him of being a “culture vulture” profiting from traditional black music. Well, we don’t think we need to explain what the term “cultural appropriation” means, but what you should know, according to us, is there’s a very thin line, literally, what is and what is not cultural appropriation, and we can’t, ever, differentiate that, we suppose.

Bruno created black culture-inspired music for all his life and lives through them; yes, he is a cultural appropriator, but is it wrong to play or create music inspired by one culture? In 2018, Seren Sensei started the “Bruno Mars Controversy,” and she thinks it’s very wrong!

Sensei argues, “Bruno Mars 100% is a cultural appropriator. He is not black at all, and he plays up his racial ambiguity to cross genres. What Bruno Mars does, is he takes pre-existing work and he just completely, word-for-word recreates it, extrapolates it.”

Sensei adds. “He does not create it, he does not improve upon it, he does not make it better. He’s a karaoke singer, he’s a wedding singer, he’s the person you hire to do Michael Jackson and Prince covers. Yet Bruno Mars has an Album of the Year Grammy and Prince never won an Album of the Year Grammy.”

Bruno Mars Controversy 2021

Bruno Mars Controversy: The singer was accused of cultural appropriation.
Photo Source: Bruno Mars Instagram


She certainly has a point, we do not deny an ounce of it, and many supported the fact. One Twitter user approved Sensen’s point saying, “Yeah, she makes a valid point about the appropriation of blackness and how it is now lucrative rather than taboo. Bruno Mars as an example is an awkward one because he has paid homage but that doesn’t discredit that he can still benefit from the ambiguity.”

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But fans’ point was, Bruno has paid his tribute to the black pioneers who inspired his music. Some black artists, like Charlie Wilson himself, stopped by to have their say. Charlie thinks Mars is destined to be one of the greats, and the 24K Magic singer helped bring back that classic New Jack /R&B sound to the masses when it was left for dead years ago.

Fans Have Some Legit Points Too!

Cultural appropriation or not is for you to decide, but let us give you a little background of Bruno Mars, where he and his parents come from. The “Lazy Song” singer was born to a Filipina mother and Puerto Rican Jewish father.

Certainly, if you look at his family tree, the singer is far from black culture, but his music. Accusing him of “Cultural Appropriation,” (which is valid to some extent) is like asking him to stop singing at all.

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One of the fans of Mars argues the same. A Twitter user wrote, “So is it Bruno Mars fault that…he was influenced by BabyFace, Teddy Riley, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis…around the same time from a hip-hop side I was influenced by DJ Premier, Pete Rock, and The Beatminerz? This is a Sociology study on influence and exposure….”

Bruno Mars Controversy Continues! The Artist Defends Himself

Recently, Bruno Mars was in an interview with “The Breakfast Club,” the 35-year-old, once again, dived back to the controversy and admitted the only reason he is where he is now is because of James Brown, Prince, and Michael.”

Bruno Mars Controversy 2021
Bruno Mars Controversy: The Grammy Award-winner singer defended himself against cultural appropriation accusations.
Photo Source: Bruno’s Instagram

The singer said, “This music comes from love and if you can’t hear that, I don’t know what to tell you. It comes with the gig. There’s real merit to what people are saying about Black entertainers not getting their flowers.”

Bruno Mars Added, “I hope that later on, down the road, there’s going to be a band that’s taking what we did and flipping that, and freaking that, and putting their own spin on it — because if they don’t, then what was the point of us doing this?”

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