Tevin Jermod Campbell is an African-American R&B recording artist, actor, producer, and songwriter. He was born in Waxahachie, Texas, on November 12 1976. His mother, Rhonda Byrd, worked as a local singer. Campbell’s father was never a prominent presence in his life, so they never have a close relationship. Campbell only met him for the first time in 1991. His voice possesses a three-octave vocal range.
At a very young age, Campbell has always expressed his desire to become a singer, and performed frequently at his local church – First as a part of their choir, then as a solo act. Recognizing his talent, his mother asked him to audition for jazz flutist, Bobbi Humphrey. Humphrey saw that Campbell had potential to become a singer, and sent his audition tape to Warner Brothers.
In August 1989, Campbell was introduced to legendary music producer, Quincy Jones. In 1990, Campbell released his debut single ‘Tomorrow’. It immediately shot to the top of the Billboard R&B/Hiphop chart. Aside from Jones, Campbell has also worked with other musical producers, such as Sideah Garrett, Al. B Sure, Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, and Naranda Michael Walden.
His next solo hit, ‘Round and Round’, was produced by Prince and was even included in his film Graffiti Bridge. ‘Round and Round’ also earned Campbell his first Grammy nomination for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. In 1991, he released his solo album, T.E.V.I.N., which included the singles ‘Tell me what you want me to do’, and ‘Goodbye’. The album was also nominated for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance at the 35th Grammy Awards. Later that year, Campbell released a special project, Handel’s Messiah: A Soulful Celebration.
Campbell received international recognition with the release of his second album, I’m Ready, which had a more mature sound. This album, which was also produced by Kenneth Edmonds, spawned some of Campbell’s most famous singles: ‘Can we Talk’, ‘Always in my Heart’, and the titular single, ‘I’m Ready’. The album went on to reach number 18 on the Billboard 200 charts, and is his most successful album to date.
In 1996, Campbell released his third album, Back to the World, produced by Sean ‘Puff Daddy’ Combs. As compared to his two previous works, his third effort was a sales disappointment. His first single, ‘Back to the World’, reached number 47 on the Billboard 200 chart, while his next two singles, ‘I got it bad’ and ‘Could you learn to love’, only reached low positions.
Campbell released a fourth self-titled album in 1999, which failed to chart as well. This album had a neo-soul flavor to it, and was vastly different from his past releases. The album spawned three singles: ‘Another Way’, ‘For your love’, and ‘Losing all control’. Only the first one charted on the Billboard 100. In that same year, he was arrested for marijuana possession and soliciting a lewd act from an undercover policeman in California. This caused Campbell to attend Narcotics Anonymous classes, and take an AIDS awareness course. He took a break from the music industry after his arrest.
After a long hiatus from the spotlight, Campbell released a single from his fifth album, called ‘Safer on the Ground’, in 2014. The single could only be downloaded from Google Play and iTunes, and streamed on Spotify.
Not only has Campbell released albums and hit songs, he has done some acting work as well. His most memorable role was probably the voice of Powerline from the Disney animated flick, A Goofy Movie. He has also made appearances in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Moesha, and Graffiti Bridge. In 2005, he performed in a production of the musical Hairspray as Seaweed J. Stubbs. His net worth is currently at two million dollars.
Rumors and Controversy
Is Tevin Campbell Gay?
Not much has been spoken about Campbell’s current relationship status – He has always kept these matters private, even if he has been in the spotlight for most of the early/mid-90s. Regarding his orientation, Campbell has neither confirmed nor denied that he’s gay. But during an interview with Sister 2 Sister Magazine in 2003, he has admitted to have a ‘try-sexual’ attitude towards sex. Apart from that though, Campbell has mentioned that his sexuality is ‘none of their business’.