RedEye

Interview: Robin Thicke changes tune on reality TV

Little known fact about R&B crooner Robin Thicke: He’s funny.

It’s true. The “Lost Without U” singer frequently makes others around him laugh with his self-deprecating remarks and dirty sense of humor, not to mention his impersonation of his wife and “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” star Paula Patton. You just wouldn’t know it from his suave persona and sensual music catalog.

That will likely change beginning May 24 when he appears in the new ABC singing competition (yes, another one) “Duets.” The show will give Thicke his first regular role on network TV — coincidentally the same network that aired his father Alan Thicke’s sitcom, “Growing Pains” — and will feature artists performing with aspiring singers on a weekly basis. “Duets” joins a growing genre that already includes Fox’s “American Idol” and “X Factor” and NBC’s “The Voice” and “America’s Got Talent.”

“I think people like to see dreams come true,” Thicke said Thursday before performing at Paris Club’s upstairs lounge, Studio Paris, as part of VH1 Save The Music Foundation’s Songwriters Music Series. “That’s why I watch the Grammys — to see that guy who was playing guitar in his apartment win.”

So Thicke agreed to join “Duets” to help make dreams come true?

“No, I did it for the money,” Thicke said without missing a beat. “My music doesn’t play on pop radio. I’ll be able to reach a new audience. I’d be lying if I said I did it because I’m excited to find talent. That didn’t happen until I met my two (aspiring singers on ‘Duets’). … There’s exposure. People are touring better and gaining a bigger fan base. Jennifer Lopez (‘American Idol’) and Adam Levine (‘The Voice’) have been more successful.”

There was a time when artists like Thicke, Lopez, Levine and rumored “X Factor” judge Britney Spears wouldn’t have considered joining these types of shows. (Why do you think “American Idol” originally offered the job to Paula Abdul?) Some probably demanded higher salaries than what the shows were paying, some felt it was ruining music and then some, like Thicke, were turned off by the stigma of reality TV.

“In the beginning, music competitions were corny,” Thicke said. “To me, there was nothing real about reality TV. It was fantasy TV. If people want to see reality TV, come to my house at midnight after a drunk night out.”

Thicke now sees the genre in a different light. And soon, the public — which Thicke believes only sees him as “The sex guy” or “Mr. Sex” — will view him in a different light as well.

“They’ve only seen me in music videos and interviews,” Thicke said. “I don’t know if they will be impressed. The best part of my personality is my music.”

Twitter @aboutluisgomez

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Group to Park District: Build DuSable Park

    Group to Park District: Build DuSable Park

    Where Lake Michigan meets the Chicago River is three acres of overgrown weeds and shrubs. It is referred to by some as a "ghost park" because it is hidden in plain sight.

  • Rejoice! Adele's new album is rumored to arrive this fall

    Rejoice! Adele's new album is rumored to arrive this fall

    There's a fire starting in my heart and it's making me realize it's been kind of a while since Adele released an album. Her last full-length "21" dropped in 2011 and I barely remember that year it feels so long ago. But now, there's some good news to fill our recently Adele-less lives and it's...

  • Chicago rappers Probcause and Saba team up on 'M.I.A.'

    Chicago rappers Probcause and Saba team up on 'M.I.A.'

    Welcome to RedEye's "Song of the Day," an ongoing feature where music reporter Josh Terry or another RedEye staff member highlights something they're listening to. Some days the track will be new, and some days it will be old. No matter what, each offering is something you should check out. Check...

  • Trump vows never to eat Oreos again, citing move from Chicago to Mexico

    Trump vows never to eat Oreos again, citing move from Chicago to Mexico

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump repeated his claim Tuesday evening that he would stop eating Oreos, citing the cookie maker's decision to close a plant in Chicago and move it to Mexico.

  • Let's talk about this new Justin Bieber song 'What Do You Mean?'

    Let's talk about this new Justin Bieber song 'What Do You Mean?'

    Don't get me wrong, Justin Bieber is still really embarrassing. He's the young pop star who recently said something only a 21-year-old would say, "Now being 21, and going through some hardships, I think you can hear that in my vocals." This is a guy who, last year at a charity gala benefiting AIDS...

  • Illinois lottery winners have to wait for payout due to budget impasse

    Illinois lottery winners have to wait for payout due to budget impasse

    After years of struggling financially, Susan Rick thought things were looking up when her boyfriend won $250,000 from the Illinois Lottery last month. She could stop working seven days a week, maybe fix up the house and take a trip to Minnesota to visit her daughter.

Comments
Loading
66°