Robin Thicke is getting comfortable with his new position as a celebrity vocal coach on Duets. The soulful singer-songwriter recently explained why he’s a natural in his new role and why race doesn’t get in the way of good music.

“[Duets] has been great,” Thicke told CBS Local. “As a producer, mentoring the [contestants] on Duets has come natural for me. It’s about getting the best performance out of the talent.”

On ABC’s singing competition TV show, Thicke plays the role of judge and mentor alongside other singers such as John Legend, Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles and Kelly Clarkson.

The 35-year-old R&B veteran, who is also a doting father and husband to actress Paula Patton, has released five critically lauded albums, including his latest offering Love After War. But as a standout soul singer, Thicke refuses to accept the categorization of “blue-eyed soul.” As a white artist in a genre dominated by black audiences and singers, Thicke believes race shouldn’t be a factor.

“I think after making five albums and touring in so many of these cities over and over again, people pretty much know what they see is what they get,” Thicke said. “It’s not that complex. I’m just a white guy who likes to sing soul music. That’s what entertainers try to do…break barriers and make the culture for the better. There’s a long line of people who go against the system and stereotypes.”

Keith Murphy, CBS Local


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