Every so often a so-called “blue-eyed soul” singer appears out of nowhere accelerating themselves to the top of a Black genre and pushing the music into the mainstream. With their success comes resentment from those who feel Black artists should receive the same sort of profits from their cultural capital.
Despite these conversations on race and privilege, it is clear that the novelty of white artists in Black music sales may even keep the music alive.
Virtually since R&B was in its infancy, white singers have had a place in the genre in ways large and small. For some, the flameout comes quicker than others: several Caucasian soul singers have suffered a painfully short half-life. In many instances, these artists cross over into even more successful pop careers.