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Robin Thicke on Getting Back to Work, Starring on New Reality Competition 'Duets' and Writing a Screenplay

Robin Thicke PR 2011 P
Anthony Mandler

The R&B singer-songwriter, who took a year off before releasing his album "Love After War" in December 2011, has packed his schedule with music and TV projects.

Robin Thicke may be best known for his career as an R&B singer-songwriter, but he’s spinning more plates than a circus performer these days. And doing it all with surprising ease.

Thicke took about a year off before releasing his fifth studio album, Love After War, in December 2011. And now it seems that he’s making up for that time by doing everything possible in show business.

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Thicke had taken the time off for the most honorable of reasons-- he wanted to focus on being a good father to his new son and husband to actress Paula Patton.

“I was just trying to take off as much time as possible to support my wife and trying to focus on being there for the kid that came into this world,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “Now that he’s on his feet he’s doing well, I’ve got to focus on getting back to work.”

Getting back to work has involved – in addition to promoting the new album – appearing as a mentor on this season of The Voice and plans to star as a judge on this summer’s new singing competition, Duets. And even that’s not the end of it. Thicke – the son of Days of Our Lives actress Gloria Loring and actor Alan Thicke – continues to raise his son with Patton, and also has plans to tour soon.

Thicke’s latest music video for his single “Pretty Lil' Heart” featuring Lil’ Wayne has the crooner romancing some beautiful women, and hanging out with a toy monkey. Thicke says he “loves movies” and took his inspiration from that.

“I’m always trying to draw inspiration from different places,” he says. “Some of it was inspiration from Rebel Without a Cause and some of it was from A Streetcar Named Desire with Marlon Brando.”

Thicke, who has written hits for popular artists such as Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Mary J. Blige and Raven-Symoné, appeared on season two of The Voice as a mentor to the aspiring singers on Adam Levine’s team.

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“There are a lot of people with good voices,” he says of the contestants. “The hardest part is believing in yourself to make it become a reality.”

The 35-year-old singer, who began his own career as a songwriter before releasing his debut album, Cherry Blue Skies (which was later re-rereleased in 2003 as A Beautiful World), tells THR that the best advice for aspiring singers was to “just decide to be something in life.”

This summer, Thicke will continue his musical mentoring on Duets, ABC’s new singing competition. Along with fellow judges Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Nettles and Lionel Ritchie, Thicke will choose two singers to perform duets with for weekly performances, with one winner getting a recording contract with Hollywood Records.

Joining an already-crowded field in the reality TV singing competition genre, Thicke says Duets will stand out because the mentors actually sing every show. “I think it makes it a little more enticing for the audience to get to see the new talent, and also have people that they like performing different types of songs for them each week,” he says.

He adds that the plethora of reality TV shows, along with YouTube, make it much easier for talented singers to find their way to a record deal and fame. “Even if you are stuck in the middle of America with no way to meet an executive or get your music out there, now you can just go on the Internet and if you look and sound great you can become Justin Bieber,” he says.

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“Talent can come from anywhere, that’s the most proven factor. I think what the Internet has done is given everyone an equal playing field,” he says.

In addition to all that work for both music and TV, Thicke reveals that he’s also working on a screenplay. He calls it a “thriller, adventure, romance” story that he started working on several years ago.

On the personal front, Thicke is still enjoying being a father to his son, now 2 years old. When asked if he hopes his son will follow in his music footsteps, or his wife’s acting career, he says he just wants “him to be happy.”

“But obviously, I don’t know much about anything else so I guess selfishly if I wanted to be able to help him at all I could help with if he was in show business,” he says. “Otherwise, if he’s a doctor he’s on his own.”

Email: Rebecca.Ford@Thr.com; Twitter: @Beccamford