At first glance, it looks like Frank Ocean's decision to come out has done nothing to hurt his album sales.
The first ever male hip-hop star to admit being gay is projected to reach No. 2 on the charts after selling 135,000 copies off his debut release Channel Orange via iTunes, according to SOHH. It remains to be seen though if the numbers will stay high or are simply due to the attention of his sexuality. While some artists enjoy their greatest successes after coming out, it's killed the careers of others. Check out our rundown of 6 musicians who came out and what happened to them afterwards.
We all pretty much knew it when Adam was competing on American Idol, but his public announcement that he was gay in 2009 still made plenty of headlines. It hasn't affected his career in the least though. His debut album For Your Entertainment sold 838,000 copies in the US and he became the first openly gay male artist to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with his 2012 release Trespassing.
2. Clay Aiken
Clay was damned if he did and damned if he didn't. The American Idol and Celebrity Apprentice finalist faced years of rumors and lampooning from late-night hosts about his sexuality, but when he actually did come out in 2008, most of his Claymates quickly fled the scene. Need proof? His 2008 album On My Way Here sold 94,000 units in its first week, but his 2010 album Tried and True sold just 22,000 copies in its first week.
3. Chely Wright
It ain't easy being gay in country music. Just ask Chely. She became the first openly gay country artist after admitting she was a lesbian in 2010, but later claimed the decision effectively killed her career. Chely said her record sales are one-third of what they once were, several music venues have refused to book her due to concerns of backlash from country music fans and she's even received death threats! Her 2010 album Lifted Off the Ground barely made it into the Billboard 200 for one week at No. 200.
4. Melissa Etheridge
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee has sustained an over 25-year career, but enjoyed her biggest success after admitting she was a lesbian at a benefit for then President Bill Clinton in 1993. Her next album that year, defiantly titled Yes I Am, is her biggest hit to date with over six million copies sold in the US and an arena tour shortly after. And whether Melissa liked it or not, she was thrust into the spotlight as a gay rights activist.
5. Michael Stipe
The rock-and-roll legend and frontman for rock band REM had refused to label himself as anything sexually for years, but came out in 2001 by admitting he was a "queer artist" who had been in a three-year relationship with a man. It remains unclear how much Michael's admission hurt or helped the band's success. REM was already long-removed from their early-90s heyday, but their subsequent albums continued to do well on the charts and their tours have always sold out. With classic hits like Losing My Religion though, it would've taken Michael admitting he was a Klan member to do any real damage.
6. Elton John
Here's living proof that nobody will give a flying eff about your sexuality if you can back it up with musical genius. Elton came out as bisexual in 1976 before admitting he was "comfortable" being gay in 1988. His fans have embraced him just the same for nearly 45 years now. Sold out arena tours, nine No. 1 hits, seven consecutive No. 1 albums, six Grammys, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Tony Award and a partridge in a pear tree later, Elton became the true pioneer for being openly gay in music.
Do you think Frank Ocean will continue to have success after coming out?
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