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Stephanie Mills: Brian McKnight, Erykah Badu Starving For Attention

Did Brian McKnight go too far for attention over the past few months ? You’ve heard the songs and seen the feedback. Now, legendary singer Stephanie Mills says McKnight, and some other older artists, are “starved for attention” and will do just about anything to get it.
“I found that song disrespectful. I just don’t think you have to go that far to get attention. And I think sometimes the older artists — because he is older now — the older artists are so starved for attention that they’ll just about do anything,” says Mills. “I come from the school of when they taught you how to sit and do interviews and taught you how to walk into a room. There was so much training during the time that I came through that we would never think of doing anything like that. So I think it took away from all of the classiness and the great stuff that he has done before.”
While Mills is working on new music, hoping for a release later this year, she believes the music industry has turned into a fame industry.
Citing Erykah Badu’s controversial “Window Seat” music video and reality shows, Mills says she loves Erykah but she went too far.
“I love Erykah Badu, but I think sometimes they want to do the shock value thing, but I don’t think it always works for black artists the way that it works for white artists,” says Mills. “It’s kind of disturbing, because nowadays when I see someone do a reality show I think that this is their last chance to get out there to become whatever. I think there’s something wrong or they’re going through something. Even though I must admit I watch some of them, but there are others that I can’t watch because I think it’s just so disrespectful.”
Looking back, Mills tells Huffington Post she is glad to have entered the music industry when she did.
“I’m glad I came through when I came through. Today, people will do anything to get fame and they’re giving them a lot of fame,” says Mills. “Everyone wants to be a celebrity or be on the red carpet.
In related news, Stephanie Mills is a headliner at the Blue Note Jazz Festival in New York. She will also play the Essence Music Festival in July.