Tevin Campbell has opened up about his sexuality after years of speculation, and the singer says he has never felt better.
The “Can We Talk” R&B icon sat down with the PEOPLE Every Day podcast, where he openly addressed coming out as gay to his family at “about 19 or 20.” Campbell says after doing so, the journey to find himself began. While performing on the Broadway musical “Hairspray” as Seaweed Stubbs, he found comfort in working with members of the LGBTQ+ community who embraced their sexuality.
“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,” the 45-year-old shared.
While Campbell kept his personal life out of the public light for many years, rumors continued to swirl that he was gay. In an interview with Sister 2 Sister years ago, he denied being gay but admitted that he was a “freak.” Though the Grammy nominee is comfortable with himself, he never felt the need to confirm his sexuality to anyone, not even his fans.
“I love my fans, but what they think about my sexuality is of no importance to me,” he added.
Campbell went on to add that he is happy to see young Black queer musicians able to be themselves today since “it wasn’t like that in the ’90s.”
Due to his 90s smashes “Can We Talk” and “I’m Ready,” the singer is indelibly ingrained in brunch and barbecue playlists for all of eternity.