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Ella Mai thanks ’90s R&B artists for her success

Gus Stewart/RedfernsBritish newcomer Ella Mai‘sBoo’d Up” remains number one on the Billboard Hot R&B Songs for a second week, and she’s grateful to ’90s R&B stars for inspiring her success.

On her first tour the 23-year-old singer opened up for Kehlani, and she says they and several other young singers are strongly influenced by rhythm and blues from two decades ago.

“A lot of people around my age, like Kehlani, she’s 22, we grew up in the ’90s, so now it’s coming around where we’re old enough to make our music that’s influenced by the people that we grew up on which was ’90s R&B,” she says.

“That’s why that 20 year landmark has now come back around,” Mai adds. “We’re using stuff that influenced us, that we listened to when we were younger, to put into our music.”

Mai remembers the artist that most influenced her was a former member of The Fugees.

“My favorite artist of all time is Lauryn Hill,” she recalls. “My mom used to listen to Lauryn Hill 24/7, so The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is my favorite album.”

Mai will perform “Boo’d Up” June 15 on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and will also sing at the BET Awards on June 24 in Los Angeles.

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