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How Ledisi, Mary J. Blige and more longtime stars survive in an era of young, shape-shifting R&B

“R&B is the only genre where there’s this idea that success means giving up R&B. It’s the only genre where it’s like, ‘You can do R&B, but if you can go pop, say goodbye to R&B.’ In jazz, the truer you are, the better you are. Same in rock. And if you come in the game pop, it’s okay to be unapologetically that,” he says. “But there’s a lot of apologizing we all do, and we’re forced to do it because there’s so many things we’ve had to do in order to make money doing R&B.”