Is Duets singer Robin Thicke related to Alan Thicke?
—Carl Ikari, Petaluma, Calif.
Thicke, 35, is the son of actor/songwriter Alan Thicke and actress/singer Gloria Loring, so he comes by his music chops naturally. His parents co-wrote the theme songs to Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life, and Loring had the 1986 hit record “Friends and Lovers” with Carl Anderson.
By the age of 16, the younger Thicke was writing and producing songs for artists including Brandy, Color Me Badd and Brian McKnight. By 21, he had written and produced songs on more than 20 gold and platinum albums, including those of Michael Jackson, Marc Anthony, Pink and Christina Aguilera.
“I wrote and produced for dozens of artists before I had one of my songs on the radio,” he says. “I write and produce my own music so I am always connected to the lyrics because they are mine and my story. I could never get up on stage and sing a song that I didn’t feel the lyrics or the passion of what the song is about.”
Thicke, who is best known for the megahit “Lost Without U,” jokes that initially his reason for becoming a mentor on Duets was for the selfish reason of reaching a larger audience since the majority of his music has only played on black radio. But that changed once he selected his two contestants and it became about them.
Even so, he says, “I would say that it is like a new beginning [for my career]. I was like this brooding artist who took myself way too seriously and wanted to be compared to the greatest of all time, which is why I have always tried to write and produce my own music. A show like this really makes you get over yourself really quickly because viewers see all of you.”