Robin Thicke is most readily recognizable as the guy with the Beetlejuice suit who Miley Cyrus twerked on at the 2013 VMA’s, but that singular episode doesn’t do justice to what has been a long and successful career in pop and R&B. In 1991, a demo tape featuring a 14-year-old Thicke made its way to R&B legend Brian McKnight, who was so impressed with the young singer’s talent that he brought him into the studio to co-write the song “Anyway,” which would appear on McKnight’s second album. Thicke began his music career in earnest at the age of 17, working primarily as a songwriter and producer. His work appeared on albums by Brandy, Christina Aguilera and Mýa, among others, and he co-wrote “Fall Again,” a track that was slated to appear on Michael Jackson’s album Invincible, but didn’t make the final cut. His work as a solo artist, starting with 2003’s A Beautiful World and leading up to 2013’s wildly successful Blurred Lines, includes a slew of top-ten albums and singles which made Thicke a mainstay of mid-2000’s R&B radio and earned him the distinction of being the most successful white R&B artist since George Michael.
Commercial achievements aside, however, Thicke has never succeeded in putting together a highly influential or innovative project. His commercial success has always been driven by one or two successful singles per album (can you name more than one track off of Blurred Lines?), and closer inspection ...
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