LGBT Personalities Predict Frank Ocean’s “Channel Orange” Success

Ra-Fael Blanco3

The G-List Society reached out to media personality Nathan Hale Williams, celebrity publicity Ra-Fael Blanco, event producer Dwight Powell and many influential LGBT personalities to share their thoughts about how R&B singer/songwriter Frank Ocean’s album and future music success will be impacted since coming out as a bisexual man before the release of his debut album.  Everyone we chatted with sung his praises, yet offered different points of view regarding the impact on his career and influence in society and pop culture.

Read these thought provoking points by  blogger Andre Allen, Sizzle Miami’s Dwight Powell, event producer Gee Smalls, media personality Just J.R., film/TV producer Nathan Hale Williams and motivational speaker Rod Watkins.

Nathan Hale Williams – Producer, Writer and Personality

“Frank Ocean coming out has already had a personal impact on me because I’ve never heard of him.  With all of the media hype around his revelation I went to listen to his music and I was hooked.  Not only is he courageous, but he’s talented. His coming out is also timely as many straight R&B/Hip-Hop artists have openly supported the LGBT community.  I applaud his efforts, and it encourages me that there is a rising tide of acceptance and tolerance within the Black community.  I hope we continue to progress and more people like, Frank Ocean, find the courage to live their lives authentically.  As you have seen, good things happen when you do.”

Ra-Fael Blanco – Celebrity publicist

“I think that Channel Orange will have a huge impact in the music industry due to the honesty that Frank has always possessed in his music and in his lyrics. I am honored and humbled by his admission, especially being a person that knows him personally and professionally and appreciates his gift of art, I can simply say.. #goodforyou! I hope that by the success of the album others can be honest with themselves and live “their truth,” not for record sales, but simply for the love of art and the love of self.”

Gee Smalls – TV personality and Event planner

I honestly am not sure how Frank’s revelation will impact his success. If I had to guess, I don’t believe it will impact it much at all. He will probably lose some fans, but it will balance out by the numbers he has gained. What I do know for sure is that by living in his own truth makes him more successful in life instantaneously.

Andre Allen – Blogger

Frank Ocean has had a strong fan base before revealing his sexuality and I believe that his success will continue [without it going] downward due to his recent announcement. So, continued success to him as he will soar high.

Just J.R. – Media personality and Model

Many of us work in entertainment and being “OUT” always be a struggle within itself and we all co-sign on that.  Honestly, music is so fickle even the biggest musical acts struggle to keep their heads above water, but I feel this buzz will be effective for music sales. I knew little of him “Pre-gay buzz” enjoyed a few tracks on underground mixtapes but “Post-gay buzz” I know everything there is to know and it has only been a week. This is his time, and everyone is supportive and positive thus far and his sales will reflect that….Question is in the long run what will he do with this enriched spotlight thrust on him? Will he use to make a difference or just cater to his artistry and pockets?

Rod Watkins – Empowerment coach and Motivational speaker

I think if Frank Ocean’s music is good he will probably fair well despite negative perceptions some may have regarding his sexual orientation. Not to mention the two hottest rappers in the game currently, Jay-Z and Kanye West have both come out publicly in support of him. Even though he still may loose some African Americans and possibly others, African Americans are not the only consumers of R&B and HipHop music in this day and age.

Frank Oceans coming out may help his album crossover to those in the LGBT community that may not have been aware of him before. It has been demonstrated that the LGBT community is a strong marketing niche and we tend to be loyal consumers.

His coming out follows the current trend of entertainment types who have done the same and are still able to maintain their careers at a high level. That being said, Frank Oceans longevity will be determined by the quality of his material and his ability to connect with as well as expand his fan base. I wish him continued success and prosperity!

Toyce Francis – Media personality

I think that there is real potential for Frank Ocean to enter at the top of the charts with all the positive buzz and attention he is getting. And we know its possible because Adam Lambert was the first openly gay artist with a number one album back in May. If Frank Ocean continues to produce great music, I think he can once and for all dispel the myth that being openly gay will ruin any chances a person has in a music career.

Only time will tell if he succeeds… but I hope with all my heart that he does. I think that visibility of the LGBT community makes a tremendous difference not just in the lives of young people struggling with their sexual identities, but in the eyes of the masses. The more they see, the less taboo it becomes. I applaud Frank Ocean for his honesty & courage. And I have already purchased my digital copy to show my support. Go Frank Ocean!

Sampson McCormick – Comedian and Media personality

I feel like the community gay and straight will respond well. Open minded people will respond, and those same dudes talkin’ about “I ain’t listenin’ to that shit.” will be sneaking to listen to it too. They always find a way with their sneaky asses. Personally, as an Out Performer, I absolutely ADORE and support Frank Ocean, 1000 percent, BUT I wish that this community would be as enthusiastic about supporting out performing artists who start ‘out’ from day one or early on. There are PLENTY of us who are independent and without contracts or deals, who are pioneering, trailblazing, kicking ass and breaking molds who represent this community just as strongly.

Dwight Powell – Sizzle Miami’s CEO and LGBT media icon

Frank Ocean’s coming out for me was a breath of fresh air given that he’s at the height of his career, still relevant, and can create a huge positive impact for gays and lesbians right now. Far too often both men and women that are gay or bi-sexual tend to keep their sexual orientation a secret until after or towards the end of their careers. Unfortunately, at times when their coming out process isn’t as impactful or beneficial for the GLBT communities in which they claim to be a part of. Case in point are the coming out revelations of John Amaechi and Sheryl Swoops. Both decided to come out after retirement from professional athletics. From organizations that could have probably been forced to be a bit more tolerant of GLBT athletes had they came out at the height of their careers.

Frank might get a little burned by his R&B/hip-hop community being the first to come out of the gate as being gay, especially in an industry that tends to be so intolerant of gays and lesbians. However, with more and more in the R&B / hip-hop industry doing the same, Frank’s coming out and possible hardships will not have been in vain. Statistics suggests that 1-in-10 men in the NFL, MLB, NBA, MLS, or NHL, are gay. With those numbers for men in the R&B and hip-hop communities being considerably higher, there are unfortunately no openly gay professional athletes and no other openly gay R&B / Hip-Hop entertainers. Hats off to Frank Ocean for his coming out, forcing the world to take notice, and demanding that they accept him as he is, or not at all.

DJ Baker – Media personality and Online radio host

First, it’s wonderful that he has obscurely come out the closet as bisexual. While I know that the LGBT community would like to be more involved in his coming out, we have to see what this stunt manufactures.  So far, he hit #1 on iTunes from the stunt, [as well as] some support for family, industry friends and parts of the LGBT community. I am conflicted on the labels motives and what will he do to help other artists in their quest to be accepted. Will he contribute to Out Music, [LGBT music artists association]?  Will he stand with us or shy away because folks in the industry direct him to pull away? He has not yet made any other statement than [his]letter. We are assuming way [too] much, but it shows the industry the hunger for [a talented] LGBT artist.

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