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Beyond Frank Ocean: 18 More Musicians Who Have Opened Up About Their Sexuality

How David Bowie, Elton John, George Michael and more came out

Frank Ocean

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Last week, Odd Future singer Frank Ocean – whose major-label debut, Channel Orange, hit iTunes today – posted a long letter online in which he revealed that his first true love was another man. "By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant," he wrote.  "It was hopeless. There was no escaping, no negotiating with the feeling. No choice. It was my first love, it changed my life." Ocean is the first major star from the hip-hop world to openly discuss same-sex attraction, but he's far from the first musician to surprise fans with a revelation about his or her sexuality. Many stars (Elton John, Clay Aiken, Adam Lambert) have come out of the closet as gay, while others, like David Bowie, have later clarified or retracted similar statements. Here's a look back at some of those moments. 

david bowie

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David Bowie

David Bowie made headlines by coming out in a 1972 interview with British music magazine Melody Maker. "I'm gay and always have been," he said. "Even when I was David Jones." His proclamation didn't exactly hurt sales for The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars that year, and Bowie went on to become one of the decade's most successful artists. But he went on to voice regret over his famous statement in a 1983 interview with Rolling Stone. "The biggest mistake I ever made was telling that Melody Maker writer that I was bisexual," he said. "Christ, I was so young then. I was experimenting." 

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