There have been rumors about 1990s R&B singer Tevin Campbell’s romantic life for years – and now it’s finally out in the open. Media Take Out has confirmed that for the first time ever, Tevin has come out publicly as a gay man.
Tevin recently appeared on the People Every Day podcast for an in-depth interview, discussing his life and career and revealing for the first time that he’s a gay man in the music industry.
“I refer to myself as a former child star because that’s just what I am,” says Campbell, 45, of his musical past. Tevin, who burst onto the scene with his hit song “Can We Talk” – a song that was almost given to Usher – and earned Campbell a Grammy nomination. “I had no idea at the time, like when I was 15 or 16 recording this song that it would have that impact,” says Campbell. “I was just a kid singing in the studio.”
Tevin then switched to his romantic interests. “I didn’t hide anything about me. I didn’t try to act a certain way or anything,” says Tevin. But also, he notes of that era in the industry, “You just couldn’t be [gay] back then.”
“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. I didn’t know who I was,” says Campbell, who stepped away from the music industry and credits much of his growth to the six years he spent performing in the Broadway musical Hairspray beginning in 2004.
Being around people who were like me, LGBTQ+ people that were living normal lives and had partners. I had never seen that,” he says. “That was a great time in my life.”
Despite years of speculation, Campbell has largely kept his private life private. Earlier this year, he responded to a Twitter user’s question about famous singers who are rumored to be gay. He simply tweeted “Tevin is…” adding a rainbow emoji.