Cheryl's Appointment As Host Of New BBC Podcast On R&B Music Faces Backlash

Many Twitter users have suggested that a Black artist or broadcaster would have been a more appropriate host.

The news that Cheryl Tweedy is the host of a new BBC podcast about R&B music has faced heavy criticism on social media.

It was recently announced that Cheryl would be fronting a 12-episode series for BBC Sounds in which she’ll share “stories of her youth and love for R&B music, from TLC to Beyoncé”.

Since the initial announcement, there’s been a wave of backlash as people voiced their issues with the idea that Cheryl – best known for her pop career and stint as an X Factor judge – should be deemed an authority on R&B music.

Many also suggested that a Black presenter or musician would have been a more appropriate host for a series about music that is rooted in Black culture:

A BBC spokesperson told The Independent in response to the criticism: “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.”

Cheryl at the launch of The Greatest Dancer last year
Cheryl at the launch of The Greatest Dancer last year
Gareth Cattermole via Getty Images

Cheryl previously said of her new venture: “I’ve always had an absolute love and passion for R&B so I’m hoping listeners are transported back and absorbed in their own nostalgia too.

“Music can be really healing when you’re going through something painful or happy, by revisiting those moments you can take back your power, I’ve discovered that myself throughout the process.”

After finding fame as a member of the pop group Girls Aloud, Cheryl embarked on a solo career, releasing five albums and topping the UK singles chart on five occasions.