The Evolution of Tevin Campbell

The Evolution of Tevin Campbell

Tevin Campbell made news this weeks, but Black people have been familiar with him since he was a child star.

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Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd. / Contributor (Getty Images)

Tevin Campbell was only 12 when he was signed to Quincy Jones’ record label and became one of the most recognizable voices of the 90's. Here’s the evolution of the child star.

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Childhood

Childhood

Tevin Campbell (left) with brother, Damorio (right)
Tevin Campbell (left) with brother, Damorio (right)
Photo: @tevincampbell on Instagram (Other)

Tevin Jermod Campbell was born on November 12, 1976, in Waxahachie, Texas, to Rhonda Campbell. He has one brother, DeMario, and a sister, Marche. He grew up without a strong relationship with his father, not meeting him until his teenage years. Campbell’s mother was also a singer, encouraging her son to share his gift with the world from a young age. It all started in the church.

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Tevin Gets Discovered

Tevin Gets Discovered

1990
1990
Photo: Paul Natkin / Contributor (Getty Images)

When Campbell was a child, his mother’s friend set up a phone audition for American jazz flutist Bobbi Humphrey.

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Signed to Qwest

Signed to Qwest

Quincy Jones feat Tevin Campbell Tomorrow A better you, better me

Young Campbell was then flown out to NYC, where one of his performances was videotaped. The tape was sent to Benny Medina of Warner Bros. He was then signed to Quincy Jones’ label, Qwest in 1988.

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Debut-1989

Debut-1989

Tevin Campbell - Round and Round (Graffiti Bridge Movie, 1990)

His debut project was his bright-toned, tenor voice featured on Quincy Jones’ 1989 album, Back on the Block. In 1990, Campbell’s voice was featured in Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones and “Round and Round” for Graffiti Bridge, a movie by Prince. His performance earned a Grammy nomination for the Best Male Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance.

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Little T

Little T

Fresh Prince - Tevin Campbell SIngs Happy Birthday To Ashley

Shortly after his Graffiti Bridge performance, Campbell appeared on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in 1991 as Little T, Ashley’s crush.

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T.E.V.I.N.

T.E.V.I.N.

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Campbell’s debut album was released in November 1991 named T.E.V.I.N. The album earned him a Soul Train Music Award nomination and a Grammy nomination for Best Male Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance.

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I’m Ready

I’m Ready

Tevin Campbell - Can We Talk (Official Video)

His second album, I’m Ready, was released in October 1993. This album featured the R&B hit “Can We Talk,” which spent 26 weeks on the Billboard charts, and “I’m Ready,” which made it to the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. The I’m Ready album received several Grammy and Soul Train Award nominations.

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1993-1995

1993-1995

1993
1993
Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd. / Contributor (Getty Images)

From 1993 to 1995. Campbell performed alongside other music industry giants such as Usher, Brandy, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. He was the opening act for Janet Jackson’s Janet World Tour from 1993-1995.

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The Goofy Movie

The Goofy Movie

Tevin Campbell performs live at Disney’s “A Goofy Movie” 20th Anniversary reunion at D23 Expo 2015

One of the Grammy-nominated singer’s most remembered roles was his voicing the character Powerline in The Goofy Movie in 1995. He also sang the songs “I 2 I” and “Stand Out” for the soundtrack.

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Back to the World and Tevin Campbell

Back to the World and Tevin Campbell

1996
1996
Photo: Raymond Boyd / Contributor (Getty Images)

In 1996, he released his third album, Back to the World, and his fourth studio album, Tevin Campbell, in 1999. He also made an appearance on the show Moesha as Kevin in 1999. That same year he was arrested for soliciting and marijuana charges in California.

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Hairspray

Hairspray

Image for article titled The Evolution of Tevin Campbell
Photo: Jemal Countess / Staff (Getty Images)

Campbell kept a low profile from 2000 to 2004, aside from an album release in 2001: The Best of Tevin Campbell. It was announced in December 2005, that he would be playing the character, Seaweed, in the Broadway musical, Hairspray. He continued playing the role non-consecutively through 2011.

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More Music Soon?

More Music Soon?

Avery Wilson, Tony Terry and Tevin Campbell Tribute to Freddie Jackson | Black Music Honors

In 2008, he released a now-deleted album called 2008, Never Before Heard. The album was deleted after six months. No new albums have been released since, but from 2009-2014 he made appearances on various stages, award shows, and featured on singles. Campbell began to reemerge in the entertainment industry in 2019, joining the cast of OWN’s Queen Sugar.

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Sexuality

Sexuality

Tevin Campbell Opens Up About His Life and Sexuality #Shorts

Tevin Campbell has dodged questions about his sexuality for decades, only hinting at possibly being a part of the LGBTQ community. He also had to shoot down rumors that he was sexually assaulted by Quincy Jones as a child. In August 2022, Campbell officially came out as gay.

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