Singer Bruno Mars [VIDEO] has come under fire recently for appropriating African-American culture. It all started when a Youtube series called 'Through the Grapevine.' It's a show that discusses different issues pertaining to African-American culture and issues. They did a two-part video discussion, aptly named, 'Is Bruno Mars a Cultural Appropriator?' and has amassed combined views of over 200,000 and has gone viral, starting a discussion of what would be considered appropriating.

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Fanning the flames

This won't be a history lesson or informational about who Bruno Mars is. Just know he's an awesome songwriter, producer, and performer and his recent six Grammy sweep back in February just pretty much proves my point.

An 'activist' named Seren Sensei Aishitemasu (black woman with a Japanese name), goes on a rant saying, "Yes Bruno Mars is 100 percent a cultural appropriator, he is racially ambiguous. He is not black at all. And he plays up his racial ambiguity." She goes on to say that he isn't original and because he's not black, he shouldn't make "black music."

Is he a Cultural Appropriator or Appreciator?

Cultural Appropriation's definition "is a concept in sociology dealing with the adoption of the elements of a minority culture by members of the dominant culture." Think of a non-Native American dressing in traditional Native- American garb. Everything can be deemed as appropriation these days and the term is often thrown around when it's not appropriate.

When I was living in Korea, my white American friend, dressed in the Hanbok which is a traditional Korean dress.

She did it for a performance at her school. Was that cultural appropriation because she's not Korean? The internet was up in arms a few months ago when Kim Kardashian [VIDEO] wore braids in her hair and paid tribute to the actress Bo Derek, who famously wore her hair in braids in the movie '10.' Well, people were mad at Kim because they felt she disrespected black culture by not acknowledging where braids came from and instead acknowledged Bo for the style. When does it ever stop?

Cultural appropriation is a term I hear often when it comes to non-black performers who make what is deemed "black music." Soul, R&B, Funk, Hip Hop. Adele, Justin Timberlake, [VIDEO] and Sam Smith are some of the non-black artists that are often accused of appropriating black music and culture.

Bruno is of mixed raced heritage. His mother, who passed away suddenly in 2013, was Filipina and Spanish. His father, Puerto Rican and Jewish. Because of his mixed racial background, he was exposed to different types of music from different genres.

When asked who his top three artists are, he consistently says, "Michael (Jackson), Prince and James (Brown)."

His answer never changes. He's a lover of old school 90's R&B. His latest, top-selling album, 24K Magic pays homage to 90's music, especially west coast hip-hop. He told 'Rap Up' magazine, "You hear these ’90's influences on the whole album," Bruno shows tremendous appreciation for artists that came before him and that made music that influences his career today. He told 'Latina' magazine, "When you say 'black music,' you are talking about rock, jazz, R&B, reggae, funk, doo-wop, hip-hop and Motown."

Is he not allowed to make the type of music that he respects and that he listened to when he was young? Is he not allowed because he's 'not black'? What line has to be crossed before a non-black artist is considered appropriating "black" music as opposed to appreciating it? I've presented the question many times on online forums and no one can seem to give me a definitive answer.

Some of the panelists on 'The Grapevine' deem it unfair that racially ambiguous Bruno Mars is getting so much recognition from what is traditionally deemed as "black music," when actual African-Americans don't receive the same recognition and accolades. Is that Bruno Mars fault? He's a multi-talented artist that makes music that he loves and appreciates and wants to share it with the world. Why is that so wrong?

An R&B Great comes to his defense

R&B singer Charlie Wilson, who was in a groundbreaking funk group in the 1970's and 1980's named 'The Gap Band' and an artist that Bruno is constantly accused of stealing from, quickly jumped to Bruno's defense on Twitter saying, "'Bruno Mars is a genuine talent pure and simple."

Bruno has yet to make a comment but Charlie Wilson's tweet says it all, so there is no need for Bruno to acknowledge the controversies. We just want him to continue to bring all kinds of people together with his music that speaks to everyone.