Frank Ocean (1987-  ) is a singer, performer, and producer who broke barriers in hip hop by writing songs that referenced his own same-sex desire.

Born Christopher Breaux in Long Beach, California, Ocean’s family moved to New Orleans when he was five years old. His mother exposed him to an array of musical styles stoking is interest. New Orleans offered a host of jazz and blues clubs from which Ocean benefitted. He eventually enrolled at the University of New Orleans to study English. Because of the destruction of Hurricane Katrina, he transferred to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he stayed for a while until he dropped out to pursue music.

Ocean moved to Los Angeles and, in less than three years, established himself as a solid songwriter. He composed songs for artists such as Justin Bieber, John Legend, and Brandy. In 2011, he released a mixed tape, which received critical acclaim due to its lyrics’ personal reflection and social commentary. The release gave Ocean the opportunity to work with Jay-Z and Kanye West. He has recorded three projects, which have received multiple Grammy nominations and two Grammy wins. He has also received a host of other esteemed awards and honors.

In 2012, Ocean wrote an open letter on his Tumblr blog describing his feelings for another young man in an incident of unrequited love when he was nineteen. He described him as his first true love. After continuing his coming-out letter, he then expressed that he felt free and that there were no more secrets.  Ocean was honored with a GLAAD Award for his album “Channel Orange.”


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