Keri Hilson looks up to Janet Jackson and TLC because they challenged sexual taboos.
The singer came under fire for the risque video and lyrics on single ‘The Way You Love Me’, but said she wasn’t worried about the backlash, as the same thing happened to some of her favourite stars.
She said: “Did it affect me? No. When you think about when TLC came out saying, ‘I’m not too proud to beg – if I need it in the morning or the middle of the night,’ it was very sexual and it was everything you weren’t supposed to be as a lady.
“Janet Jackson was just being herself. A great performer – people said ‘she’s too sexual’ but it never stopped her.
“Even Josephine Baker – they told her she was dancing too raunchy. She was fearless, she was bold, she went against the grain and became great. These are the kind of people that I look up to.”
Keri also received criticism from some for working with Chris Brown – who has had trouble rehabilitating his career since being convicted of assaulting his then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009 – but feels people need to separate the singer’s work and personal life.
She added: “That’s your personal life, I’m not going to undermine what you bring to the table; what you bring to my business – I take that same view in music.
“We did this with Michael Jackson; we did this with R Kelly. I’m not going to kick someone whilst they’re down, I just don’t believe in that.
“Chris Brown is a great artist, and I will continue to collaborate with anyone who I consider a friend.”