Frank Ocean’s coming out in the often-homophobic business of rap and hip-hop music is living proof that things are getting better for the LGBT community.
The R&B star, who revealed last July that his first love was a man, tops the list of best-selling artists for U.K. music retailer HMV, shutting down some who thought his sexuality would be a turnoff for many hip-hop fans.
“There's a certain Stevie Wonder quality about him, and aside from having released a truly wonderful debut album, Frank has also earned a great deal of credit in the way he has challenged hip hop stereotypes,” John Hirst, HMV music manager, told the Gay Star News.
“I think we're going to hear a lot more from him in future.”
If anything, Ocean’s media attention from his coming out story catapulted him into the spotlight, where he was able to showcase his talents.
Among other accolades, the artist has been nominated for six 2013 Grammy’s, including Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Album of the Year for his album Channel Orange. The 25-year-old was also named mtvU’s Man of the Year for 2012.
Ocean came out in a Tumblr post on his blog. After the announcement, rappers and other artists were quick to attack Ocean.
“Tell her I skate/ I ain’t got no worries/ No Frank Ocean, I’m straight,” raps Lil’ Wayne over a remixed version of Future’s single “Turn On The Lights.”
Chris Brown declined to comment on Ocean’s sexuality, allegedly saying: “Man, no homo!” the Gay Star News reported.
Ocean has been rumored to be in a relationship with Willy Cartier, a French male model.