R&B artist Tevin Campbell has officially come out as gay in a new interview.
Throughout the 90s and 2000s, Campbell wowed music listeners with his chart-topping hits – including Can We Talk and I’m Ready – and dazzling performances in Disney’s A Goofy Movie and Broadway’s Hairspray.
Even though he’s been in the public eye for nearly 30 years, the 45-year-old talent has kept his personal life and sexuality private – despite years of speculation.
In an interview with People Every Day, the beloved singer opened up about navigating the music industry as a gay man.
“I didn’t hide anything about me. I didn’t try to act a certain way or anything,” he revealed.
However Campbell went on to say that at the time, music artists “just couldn’t be [openly gay].”
Elsewhere in the interview, the Grammy nominee reflected on his time on Broadway and connecting with the LGBTQ+ community for the first time.
“When I came out to my family and friends [at] about 19 or 20, that was it for me. And then I went on the road of discovering myself,” he explained.
“I didn’t know who I was. Being around people who were like me, LGBTQ+ people that were living normal lives and had partners. I had never seen that. That was a great time in my life.”
Campbell also praised Lil Nas X and Frank Ocean for establishing successful careers as openly queer artists.
“It wasn’t like that in the 90s. But I’m glad I get to see it. I’m glad that’s changing. There are a lot of kids, especially young Black boys, that need to see representation,” he said.
“They’re not being taught to love themselves because of who they are.”
Campbell’s in-depth interview comes a few months after he seemingly confirmed his sexuality in a social media exchange with a fan.
“My mom keeps telling me Luther Vandross, Teddy Pendergrass, and Tevin Campbell were gay,” they wrote.
In response, the beloved singer tweeted “Tevin is” alongside a rainbow flag and sunglasses emoji.