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R&B Singer Tevin Campbell Shares How He 'Embraced' His Gay Identity

"You don't want to die pretending to be somebody else."

Tevin Campbell is ready to talk about his sexuality.

The beloved R&B singer known for '90s hits like "I'm Ready" and voicing Powerline in A Goofy Movie, has publicly come out as gay in a new episode of the People Every Day podcast.

Campbell released his debut album, T.E.V.I.N., in 1991 when he was 15, but told People Every Day host Janine Rubenstein: "I didn't hide anything about me. I didn't try to act a certain way or anything... You just couldn't be [gay] back then." 

The singer revealed he came out to his friends and family at "about 19 or 20," but it wasn't until he joined the cast of Hairspray on Broadway in 2004 that he was surrounded by other queer people:

"Being around people who were like me, LGBTQ+ people that were living normal lives and had partners. I had never seen that," he recalled. "That was a great time in my life."

Earlier this year there was speculation about Campbell's sexuality when the singer tweeted "Tevin is..." followed by a rainbow flag emoji. He deleted the tweet, but the flag emoji is now part of the bio section of his Twitter profile.

"Every person in the world isn't straight. Get over it," Campell said on the podcast when asked about tweeting the emoji. "When you get to a point in your life where you love yourself so much you don't give a damn what people think or say about you, that feels so good, and hopefully, you can inspire other people to do that... You gotta be you. You don't want to die pretending to be somebody else."

Campbell released multiple hits in the '90s, but he has had a resurgence in recent years thanks to younger generations' love for A Goofy Movie, the 1995 animated movie where he voiced the electrifying pop act, Powerline, singing God-tier bops, "I 2 I" and "Stand Out."

When asked about what it's like to see younger Black artists like Lil Nas X and Frank Ocean be open about their sexuality, Campbell told Rubenstein he is "glad to see it." 

"I wouldn't have been prepared, when I was a kid, to be a spokesperson for the LGBTQ+ community. There are a lot of kids, especially young Black boys that need to see representation," he continued.

Earlier this year Campbell took home the R&B icon award at the Black Music Honors, and he told People he hopes to release new music next year, but when asked what makes him happy right now, he responded:

"What makes me happiest right now is how far I've come in my life. The fact that I'm still here... the fact that I've embraced me."

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