R&B singer Frank Ocean wows Jimmy Fallon viewers with song about unrequited same-sex love
R&B singer-songwriter Frank Ocean is full of surprises.
The 24-year-old Ocean, an affiliate of the hip-hop collective Odd Future (who had been criticized for homophobic lyrics), made waves in the music industry when he posted a letter on his Tumblr page expressing his experience of falling in love with another man when he was 19 years old.
He took to the stage on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon on July 9 to perform "Bad Religion" from his album Channel Orange. He was accompanied by a string section and Late Night's houseband The Roots, and sung lyrics expressing aching feelings for a man ("I can never make him love me / Never make him love me, no, no").
While his coming-out (even though he has not identified himself as gay or bisexual) has been praised as a progressive step for a performer from the traditionally homophobic genre of hip-hop, his lyrics about love for another man (particularly one performed on national TV) remain a rarity in all genres of popular music.
The album, originally slated for released on July 17, was unexpectedly released one week early on iTunes (and topped the charts).
What's more, Vancouverites are in luck. Just as the local Pride season is heating up, Ocean is set to perform at the Commodore Ballroom here in Vancouver this Saturday (July 14).