In the wake of the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin’s death, many of us have found ourselves traveling down a memory lane of musical genius. And as with the deaths of Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson and Prince, losing a musical icon and honoring their passing by pressing play on throwbacks can have you in your nostalgic feelings.

After strumming my pain with Auntie Ree’s dynamic catalog and rocking out to R&B from the mid-to-late ’90s on into the new millennium, it became clear that while black people are the progenitors of the best music, many black folks f**k with some of whitest white music. And by f**k with, I mean some of us know all the damn lyrics, and many of us have even bought the albums.

Don’t front. Don’t act like Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles” is a reach.

Every decade has at least one white band or singer who has been given an official black card or received an invitation to the cookout on the strength of their vocal prowess. And guess what? Madonna ain’t it. 

GIPHY