The BBC has been slammed online for selecting singer Cheryl to front a new R&B podcast from BBC Sounds.
The podcast called You, Me & R&B launched on 27th August, and the “Call My Name” singer described it as her “love letter to the greatest music genre there’s ever been.”
She added: “‘I’ve always had an absolute love and passion for R&B and I’m so excited to share my new show with you on BBC Sounds.”
During her first show, Cheryl plays music from Mary J Blige, Blackstreet, TLC, Jorja Smith, Aaliyah, Brandy, DonellJones and Alicia Keys and provided explanations for some of her chosen tracks.
After revealing her “slow jam” of the week – Usher’s ‘Nice and Slow’, Cheryl said: “Every show, I will be dipping into the steamy end of the R&B pool to find the sexiest anthems around. If you’re anything like me, I’m sure you’ll agree there isn’t anything quite like R&B for getting you in the mood of love, of feeling good, of feeling sexy.”
However, the choice to hire the former X-Factor judge for the presenting gig has caused outrage online as many R&B fans have questioned why a Black artist was not chosen for the role instead.
While many have also pointed out that Cheryl – who started out in the pop girl group Girls Aloud and then went on have a solo career in pop music – has never released any music of her own within the R&B genre.
Meanwhile, others gave BBC Sounds some suggestions as to who would be better suited for the role such as Alisha Dixon, Jamelia, Estelle, Craig David, Beverly Knight Clara Amfo, and Nadia Jae.
Elsewhere, some people have stood up for Cheryl and her new presenting role and showed their support by listening to the podcast.
A BBC spokesperson told Indy100: “We feature a wide range of voices spanning different genres across our extensive music output. Many of our shows are fronted by DJs who are experts in their fields, others are hosted by people with a passion for their topic. Cheryl’s ‘You, Me and R&B’ shares personal stories from her youth, soundtracked by her favourite genre.”
During her career spanning almost two decades, Cheryl released five studio albums with Girls Aloud between 2003 and 2008 and four solo albums with 2014’s Only Human being her latest album to date.