He says he stands on the shoulders of artists like Teddy Pendergrass, Michael Jackson, James Brown, Barry White, Luther Vandross, and other icons.
Some have given the title to R. Kelly, but his detractors vehemently argue that his alleged crimes take him out of the running. Usher is a long-standing hitmaker who has also been in the running, with YK Osiris recently naming the R&B legend as the person who truly deserves the crown.
Bevy Smith hosted an interview with Usher on her show Bevelations and she mentioned that he is often dubbed the King, adding, “And from our conversation right now, I feel like you are really ready to own that title and to ascend to that thrown.”
“I mean, you call me that, I’ll definitely carry it,” said Usher. “I’ma tilt my crown knowing that, and I’ma tilt my crown knowing that I’m standing on the shoulders of all of the icons of our time. It is Michael [Jackson] that I stand on the shoulders of, it is James Brown that I stand on the shoulders of, it is Ronald Isley I stand on the shoulders of, it is Luther Vandross, it is Barry White, it is Teddy Pendergrass—it is all of these incredible artists like Marvin Gaye that will never be forgotten as long as there’s a breath in my body to breathe. It’s all of them.”
“And as a result of that, yeah, you wanna give me that crown, you tell me who gon’ do it better,” he continued as Smith mentioned he’s still a relevant artist who is making music. “I am, and I am because I’ve been given a gift, a gift that came from God, man.” Usher added that when the world hears his voice, they also hear the voices of icons before him.
“I’m carrying them, so if anything, you wanna give me a crown? I’m the last of my kind. That’s what I’ma say.”
Check out more from Usher talking about the King of R&B status below.