by Mesfin Fekadu
Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK (AP)—The music industry is showing support to R&B singer Frank Ocean after he revealed that his first love was a man.
Ocean announced the news July 4 on his blog. His record label’s president, Joie Manda, showed support to the rising singer in a statement to The Associated Press on Thursday.
“The courage he displayed in his beautiful and eloquent letter was touching on many levels. Frank broke down a wall that should never have been built,” Manda’s statement read. “The overwhelming show of support from his peers was awesome and inspiring. Island Def Jam is so proud to stand beside Frank Ocean—the artist and man—now and always.”
Def Jam founder Russell Simmons wrote in a post that he’s moved by Ocean’s “courage and honesty.”
“Today is a big day for hip-hop,” Simmons wrote on his Global Grind website Wednesday. “Your decision to go public about your sexual orientation gives hope and light to so many young people still living in fear.”
Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers tweeted: “Strong move by frank ocean, makes me happy.”
And others, from Solange Knowles to RuPaul to Rita Ora, also tweeted positive thoughts.
Actor Johnny Knoxville called Ocean’s decision a “brave thing to do, and the right thing to do” in a tweet Thursday.
Ocean is best known for the R&B songs “Novacane” and “Thinkin Bout You.” The 24-year-old self-released his debut, “nostalgia, ULTRA,” to critical success last year and will release an official album, “Channel Orange,” on July 17. It features collaborations with John Mayer and Andre 3000 of OutKast.
Ocean has also written songs for Beyonce, Justin Bieber, John Legend and Brandy. He appeared on two songs from Jay-Z and Kanye West’s collaborative album, “Watch the Throne.”
The singer is also a member of the alternative hip-hop group Odd Future. His band mate, Tyler, the Creator, is known for using homophobic words in songs, but he also has showed support for Ocean.
Outside of the celebrity world, some fans have praised Ocean. Others, though, weren’t as supportive, with some saying they could no longer listen to Ocean’s music because he was romantically linked to a man.
Ocean will launch his U.S. tour this week.