Frank Ocean, With 6 Grammy Nods, Beats Homophobia In The R&B Community
Frank Ocean, both popular on the charts and with critics, is up for album of the year, record of the year, best new artist and more at the 55th annual Grammy Awards, and is overcoming the preceived homophobia of the R&B community.
Ocean, who recently came out as gay, has transcended the potential implications of singing about an unnamed “he” while also foregoing the rougher persona and pop-friendly hooks that others in the genre like Chris Brown have made almost standard. He manages to mix elements of folk, soul, bossa nova and even some EDM into something cohesive on one album, with song lyrics that resonate and music that brings the best out of them.
Ocean is a new name in R&B, and with his new name comes a new sound and fresher themes for the genre. Despite a tendency to stay out of the media, unlike his contemporaries on the radio, his debut album Channel Orange sold a solid 500,000 copies. Before the album came out in July, Ocean further distinguished himself in the R&B and hip-hop community by casually revealing that he had fallen in love with a man at 19.
Ocean is leading the pack with 6 Grammy nods alongside Fun., Jay-Z, Mumford & Sons, Kanye West and Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. In addition to being nominated for best new artist, album of the year (Channel Orange) and record of the year (“Think’ ‘Bout You") he's also nominated for best urban contemporary album, best rap/song collaboration and best short form music video for “No Church in the Wild” with Jay-Z and Kanye West.
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