• Bruno Mars credited the greats like James Brown, Prince and Michael Jackson for his success as an artist
  • The singer said the cultural appropriation claims come "with the gig"
  • Mars said he hopes others would be inspired by his music as well

Bruno Mars has addressed the claims that he has been appropriating Black culture in his music.

In an interview on "The Breakfast Club" with his Silk Sonic partner, Anderson .Paak, the "Versace on the Floor" singer was asked about the cultural appropriation accusations stemming from the 2018 online debate about "his racial ambiguity to cross genres" in music.

"People love to accuse you of being a cultural thief, which I find interesting because you are a person of color. What would you say to those people?" host Charlamagne the God asked the singer, who was born Peter Gene Hernandez to a Filipino mother and Puerto Rican and Jewish father.

"I would say...You can't look at an interview, you can't find an interview where I'm not talking about the entertainers that've come before me. And the only reason why I'm here is because of James Brown, is because of Prince, Michael [Jackson]—that's the only reason why I'm here," Mars responded.

"I'm growing up as a kid, watching Bobby Brown [and] saying, 'OK, if that's what it takes to make it, then I've got to learn how to do the running man, I've got to learn how to do the moonwalk.' That's it. And this music comes from love, and if you can't hear that, then I don't know what to tell you," he added.

Mars admitted that he questioned himself when the controversy arose in 2018. It came to a point when he looked himself in the mirror and asked himself, "Do I have this pass that I don't know about? Where can I get this pass? Because I could use some for me and my friends."

When asked if the cultural appropriation accusations had upset him, Mars said it "comes with the gig." He also acknowledged that there is real merit to what people are saying about Black artists "not getting their flowers."

"I understand but it's just Twitter," he added.

He also added that just like the other artists, his music was inspired by great artists. Mars said he learned from the guys that came before him and studied what they did.

Mars also admitted that he was hoping another band would take what they do and put their own spin on it "because if they don't, then what was the point of us doing this?"

Mars released his first song under his band Silk Sonic, "Leave the Door Open," along with its music video, Friday.

Bruno Mars
Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson are facing another lawsuit for their hit single "Uptown Funk." Pictured: Mars performs at the MTV Europe Music Awards (EMA) on Nov. 6, 2016 at the Ahoy Rotterdam in Rotterdam. Getty Images/Emmanuel Dunand