Names in the news, July 5

Posted July 04, 2012, at 5:19 p.m.

Both Anderson Cooper and Frank Ocean made revelations about their sexuality this week, but Ocean’s could end up being the more significant announcement. Ocean — the rising R&B singer behind the single “Novacane” and the self-released album “nostalgia, ULTRA,” which critics heralded as among the best of 2011 — announced on his Tumblr page Wednesday that his first love was a man. He also tweeted a link to the post. Earlier this week, CNN’s Cooper acknowledged that he was gay. But the admission from the 24-year-old Ocean — who is part of the hip-hop collective Odd Future and was prominently featured on Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Watch the Throne” album — is noteworthy because he inhabits the world of rap, where anti-gay sentiments have long been part of the regular vocabulary. Ocean wrote: “4 summers ago, I met somebody. I was 19. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost. And on the days we were together, time would glide.” Ocean concludes the post: “I don’t have any secrets I need to keep anymore. … I feel like a free man. If I listen closely. I can hear the sky falling too.” Ocean has a new album, “Channel Orange,” coming out July 17. Chuck Creekmur, founder of the website allhiphop.com, said it was hard to determine what impact the announcement would have on its sales. “I think it could work to his benefit. I think he’ll definitely get more sort of praise and acclaim, and it will probably help his sales,” he said. “But I think a lot of men will have difficulty singing his songs knowing they may have been penned to another man.” Ocean said he had intended his post to be part of his album credits, but because there have been recent rumors about his sexuality, he decided to post it on his Tumblr page. “My hope is that the babies born these days will inherit less of the (expletive) than we did,” he wrote.

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