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Maxwell and Clive Davis worry R&B is being restricted

And encourage conscious voices in a pre-Grammys sit-down. The duo also reveal the artists they love.

Justin Frazier // REVOLT

As anticipated as the Grammy Awards are every year, an invitation to the Clive Davis-hosted Gala that goes down the night before—that fans aren't privy to from the comforts of their couch—is just as coveted as the gold gramophone itself.

As an exclusive shindig that features noted performances from both industry veterans and up-and-comers, this year's Pre-Grammy Gala saw the likes of Mike Posner, DNCE and Maren Morris hit the stage, Chance the Rapper emphatically perform "Angels" and "No Problems," Mary J. Blige bring back "No More Drama," Jennifer Hudson receive a standing ovation for her cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," and Maxwell honor Prince with "Nothing Compares 2 U."

As much as that line-up reads like a who's-who of pros and most-populars, Davis' goal is more substantial than that. The legendary music exec and Maxwell spoke to REVOLT about the Gala's purpose, the cons of mainstream radio, entertainers using their voice for the greater good, and which artists they're both currently listening to.

Read excerpts and watch the full interview below.

Davis: "One of my missions is to make sure that the great voices...[are] heard and get the reaction that I know it will...We need the next Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Luther Vandross. What I'm concerned about is that the great R&B singers, who have so affected our lives, are being disenfranchised by urban mainstream radio...Music is broader than that and sometimes you can go too far in just giving the audience what they're currently listening to."

Maxwell: "I think we have to be more conscious of what we speak of and what we say...I feel like there is a change of the tide...with the political climate that we're in right now....Music can be pretty incredible during trying times...and I hope that the youth of tomorrow and today can see that it's their voices that help actually govern the change and the unification that we need as people."

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