What Happened to Tevin Campbell?

October 11, 2023

Tevin Campbell shook the world as a child star — and then he was gone. The singer surfaced periodically, from multiple runs in the touring company of Broadway's Hairspray over six years to a short-lived digital album to guest appearances on late night shows and a slew of one-off singles. But his personal and professional struggles — including substance abuse — were what truly defined him as a pop culture icon.

Tevin first became famous at the age of 12 when he sang on Quincy Jones' 1989 album Back on the Block. The Texas native was marketed as a young heartthrob and was on the verge of international superstardom. But behind the scenes, he was dealing with a drug addiction and rumors of sexual misconduct.

Campbell's troubles would culminate in a 1999 arrest for soliciting oral sex from an undercover cop and a messy interview in Sister to Sister magazine that essentially forced him out of the music business. Despite the setbacks, Tevin still managed to stay relevant with a slew of standout performances in both theater and television (as well as an impressive career as an R&B singer).

Tevin recently opened up about his sexual orientation. He appeared on the daily news podcast PEOPLE Every Day and said that he identifies as gay. He also addressed the rumors about him and other singers who have been rumored to be gay. Earlier this year, the singer responded to a Twitter user's question about whether or not he was gay by tweeting "Tevin is..." followed by a rainbow emoji.

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