Usher is happily accepting the "King of R&B" title, and while Tevin Campbell doesn't disagree with that high honor, he does think there's someone who could challenge ... if he weren't in prison.
We caught Tevin at LAX ... fresh off his jaw-dropping cameo during Usher's Las Vegas residency, where Usher had him perform his classic jam "Can We Talk" in front of thousands of screaming R&B fans.
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R&B conversation in 2022 continues to heat up thanks to Diddy and his "R&B is dead" theory, and Tevin initially took a diplomatic approach ... similar to Brian McKnight's, by citing older legends such as Marvin Gaye and Sam Cooke as true R&B royalty.
The pressure to pick a true king eventually got to Tevin and he went full Voldemort ... daring to speak R. Kelly's name in an era where the disgraced singer's been blackballed from public praise.
Tevin gives Usher a lot of credit, but says when it comes to R. Kelly's catalog, his hit-making is still unmatched.
He's not alone in this thinking ... Ne-Yo didn't hold his tongue this summer when he admitted to still streaming Kelly's music.
Of course, Kelly is just a few months into a 30-year federal prison sentence for sex trafficking, and he's currently standing trial in a 2nd federal case out of Chicago.
A hit is a hit, but it's probably understandable why many fans won't push play anymore.
Looks like Usher is stuck with the crown for now!