Tevin Campbell

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Tevin Campbell
Birth name Tevin Jermod Campbell
Born (1976-11-12) November 12, 1976 (age 38)
Waxahachie, Texas, United States
Genres R&B, soul, new jack swing, urban
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, actor
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1988–present
Labels Qwest/Warner Bros. (1988-1999), Spectra Music Group (2014-present)

Tevin Jermod Campbell (born November 12, 1976) is an American singer, songwriter and actor. Born in Waxahachie, Texas, he displayed a passion for singing at a very early age, performing gospel in his local church. Following an audition for a famous jazz musician in 1988, Campbell was signed to Warner Bros. Records. In 1991, Campbell collaborated with legendary music impresario Quincy Jones and released his platinum-selling debut album, T.E.V.I.N.. The album included his highest-charting single to date, "Tell Me What You Want Me To Do", peaking at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

His double-platinum selling second album, I'm Ready, released in 1993, included two of Campbell's most popular songs, "Can We Talk" which peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the album's title track "I'm Ready", which also peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In 1996, Campbell released his third album, Back to the World, which was not as commercially or critically successful as his first two releases. His self-titled fourth album, Tevin Campbell, was released in 1999, but, performed poorly on Billboard's album charts.

Apart from music, Campbell commenced an acting career, appearing in Prince's sequel to Purple Rain, Graffiti Bridge. He also made guest appearances on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Moesha television programs, voiced the character named Powerline in Disney's animated A Goofy Movie film and was cast as Seaweed in the Broadway musical Hairspray in 2005.

Throughout his career, Campbell has earned 5 Grammy Award nominations, selling an estimated 3 million album copies worldwide (primarily from his first two albums).

Early life[edit]

Born in Waxahachie, Texas, Tevin Campbell had a passion for singing at a young age. He began by singing gospel, first as a choir member, and then as a soloist at Jacob's Chapel in a small town just south of Dallas, Texas.


1988-1990: Early Career[edit]

In 1988, a friend of Campbell's mother arranged for him to audition for jazz flutist Bobbi Humphrey by singing over the phone to her in New York. Humphrey took an interest in Campbell and submitted an audio and videotape to Warner Bros. This led to a meeting with Benny Medina, the Warner's senior vice president and general sales manager of black music.

Campbell was introduced to the R&B world by Quincy Jones in August 1989. Campbell's debut single was "Tomorrow (A Better You, Better Me)" which reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Singles chart in June 1990.[1] This was a vocal version of a 1976 instrumental by The Brothers Johnson. It was the lead single from Jones' critically acclaimed ensemble LP Back on the Block which won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1991.[2] After working with Jones and writers and producers including Siedah Garrett,[3] Campbell worked with producers Narada Michael Walden, Al B. Sure, Babyface, and others to record additional music.[4]

Campbell's first solo hit was "Round and Round", which charted at #3 on R&B charts in November 1990[5] and #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April 1991 was produced by Prince and was featured in Prince's film Graffiti Bridge.[6] After his appearance in the 1990 film Graffiti Bridge, Campbell made a guest appearance the following year on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, playing fictional teen idol, "Little T", a celebrity crush and date of Ashley's in the first season episode, "Just Infatuation". In a later episode, he was referenced when Will threatened to destroy Ashley's Little T posters after she plays with Will's autographed baseball. The song, "Round and Round" earned Campbell a Grammy Award nomination at the 33rd Grammy Awards for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance but lost to Luther Vandross.

1991-1992: T.E.V.I.N. and early success[edit]

Campbell followed the success of his first two singles by releasing his debut album, T.E.V.I.N., in November 1991 which featured the R&B hit singles and Campbell's #1 R&B hit: "Tell Me What You Want Me to Do" followed by "Alone with You", and "Goodbye". T.E.V.I.N. reached #38 on Billboard 200 chart and #5 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album eventually was certified platinum by the RIAA for selling 1 million copies in the United States. T.E.V.I.N. earned Campbell a Grammy Award nomination for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance at the 35th Grammy Awards but lost to Al Jarreau. The album was produced by Jones, Al B. Sure! and Narada Michael Walden among others.

Between interviews and television appearances following the release of T.E.V.I.N., he contributed to three special projects: Handel's Messiah: A Soulful Celebration, a Grammy Award-winning album produced by Mervyn Warren of Take 6; A Very Special Christmas 2 album, featuring Campbell's rendition of "Oh Holy Night"; and Barcelona Gold, the 1992 Olympics album which includes his hit "One Song".

1993-1995: I'm Ready and prominent success[edit]

The singer's second album, the 1993 release of the album I'm Ready, was also produced by Jones and Medina. "I wanted to make a more mature-sounding album to reflect my current state of mind," Campbell explained to J. R. Reynolds in Billboard magazine. "I'm Ready says a lot about who I am as a person because of the things I've been through during the last four years or so. I hope people will see that I'm not the same young kid that I was on my first album." The album was produced by Babyface among others.

I'm Ready released October 1993, yielded the US top ten pop and #1 R&B hit "Can We Talk" in December 1993; "I'm Ready", a US top ten and top five R&B hit;[7] and "Always in My Heart" which charted at the US Hot 100 top twenty and #3 on the R&B chart.[8] He also scored a Top 30 R&B hit with a fourth single, "Don't Say Goodbye Girl". The album was released on October 26, 1993 and went on to reach #18 on the Billboard 200 chart and #3 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for selling 2 million copies in the United States. To date I'm Ready is Campbell's biggest selling album and many considered this album to be the high mark of his career despite the fact he was only 16 when he recorded the album. The album was nominated for 3 Grammy Awards: Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for "Can We Talk" at the 36th Grammy Awards, Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for "I'm Ready" and Best R&B Album for I'm Ready both at the 37th Grammy Awards.[7]

In November 1994, Campbell was featured on the soundtrack to the film, A Low Down Dirty Shame singing "Gotta Get Yo' Groove On" produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. In September 1994, Campbell also scored an R&B hit with the single "U Will Know" as part of the R&B super-group Black Men United, a group that also included singer Usher. In 1995, Campbell voiced the character Powerline in Disney's animated A Goofy Movie, performing the songs "I 2 I" (also styled as "Eye to Eye") and "Stand Out" for the film's soundtrack.[9] Campbell appeared alongside female recording artist Brandy on the September 28, 1995 episode of NY Undercover called "Digital Underground.Com" singing "The Closer I Get to You".

1996-1998: Back to the World and decline in popularity[edit]

The year 1996 saw the release of his third album, Back to the World.The album saw production by Sean Combs. The album reached #46 on the Billboard 200 chart and #11 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. In terms of sales, Back to the World was a disappointment compared to his first two albums T.E.V.I.N. and I'm Ready because it only reached Gold status. The album's first single,"Back To The World", reached #47 on the Billboard 200 chart and #14 on the R&B charts becoming a moderate hit. However, the other two singles didn't even reach the Hot 100, "I Got It Bad" and "Could You Learn To Love" only managed to reach the R&B charts with very low peak positions. Also in 1996, Campbell sung a cover of the song, "The Impossible Dream", on the compilation album Rhythm of the Games: 1996 Olympic Games Album.

1999-2002: Tevin Campbell, arrest and hiatus[edit]

On February 23, 1999, Campbell released his self-titled album, Tevin Campbell, found Campbell venturing into the neo-soul venue. The project was rushed, and as a result charted below the R&B Top 30, with only a single charting, a Top 30 song called "Another Way".[7] The album saw collaborations with Wyclef Jean, Faith Evans, David Foster, and SWV lead singer Coko. In 1999, Campbell made another guest appearance on the hit show Moesha starring Brandy in the episode, "Rite Stuff".

In September 1999, Campbell was arrested after soliciting a lewd act from an undercover policeman during a sting operation in Van Nuys, California. The sting operation was reportedly conducted in an area where there had been numerous complaints from the public about cruising and solicitation. According to police reports, Campbell was also in possession of a small amount of marijuana at the time of his arrest.[10]

During 2000, Campbell stayed out of the public eye. In 2001, Campbell released the compilation album, The Best of Tevin Campbell. In 2002, it was reported that he had stopped making music.

2003-2008: Broadway and shelved album[edit]

Through 2003 to 2004, Campbell had still not made a public appearance and kept a low profile. However in 2005, Campbell made an appearance on Broadway for the musical Hairspray as the character, Seaweed J. Stubbs.[11] Campbell later reprised his role of Seaweed in the Broadway play in the Melbourne and Sydney productions in Australia.[12] He worked with the production up until 2011. During 2006 to 2007, Campbell made few public appearances, due to his commitment to Broadway. In May 2008, Campbell released an internet album entitled, 2008, Never Before Heard through Rambo House Media and the album was released to iTunes and Amazon as a means of test marketing some material originally recorded in 2002. After six months of availability, Campbell decided to no longer allow the unpublished material to be downloaded online, and the music can no longer be heard or purchased on these sites.

2009–2013: Sporadic appearances[edit]

In early 2009, record producer Narada Michael Walden stated that Campbell was working on a new album with new material to be released in early 2009. However, nothing was ever released. Also in 2009, Campbell made an appearance at the BET Awards 2009 as he paid tribute to The O'Jays with Trey Songz, Tyrese, and Johnny Gill. In May 2010, Campbell performed on The Mo'Nique Show. He said that many people wanted him to work again on music and he was thinking about a comeback. In November 2010, he was featured on the remake of a song by Quincy Jones called "Secret Garden". The remake featured Usher, Robin Thicke, Tyrese Gibson, LL Cool J and Barry White. TV One's show Life After featured Campbell's life and career, as well as updates on his comeback. From 2011 to 2012, Campbell made small appearances here and there. In 2013, Campbell performed a concert called Tevin Campbell in Cape Town in South Africa as well as traveling to London to perform and was a part of the One Man, One Nation, One Celebration at the FNB Stadium in honor and as tribute to Nelson Mandela.

2014-present: Music comeback[edit]

On June 14, 2014, Campbell performed a concert at B. B King's Blues Club & Grill in New York called An Evening with Tevin Campbell and received positive reviews.[13] It was officially announced that he was working on a new album with collaborations from producer Teddy Riley, singer Faith Evans and T-Pain.[14] On July 5, Campbell performed at the 2014 Essence Music Festival in New Orleans.[15] The performance garnered great reviews. Campbell appeared on a track called "Let it Flow" with Naturi Naughton from the Full Force album Full Force: With Love From Our Friends which was released on August 26, 2014.[16]

In November, it was announced that Campbell had signed with Spectra Music Group and that new music should be hitting the radio sometime in 2015.[17] Campbell is currently set to be featured on a remake of the song, "Maybe Tomorrow", originally recorded by The Jackson 5 with lead singer Michael Jackson on lead vocals. The song is expected for release March 17 and will be on jazz musician Aaron Bing's ninth studio album, Awakening.


Campbell is a tenor[18] who possesses a four-octave vocal range. His vocal range spanned from E2 to a D#6 in his song "Tell Me What You Want Me to Do".


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications

1991 T.E.V.I.N. 38 5 31
1993 I'm Ready
  • Release date: October 26, 1993
  • Label: Qwest/Warner Bros.
18 3 14
  • US: 2× Platinum[22]
1996 Back to the World
  • Release date: June 25, 1996
  • Label: Qwest/Warner Bros.
46 11 31 36
1999 Tevin Campbell
  • Release date: February 23, 1999
  • Label: Qwest/Warner Bros.
88 31
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album details
1994 A Tribute to Curtis Mayfield
Gift From Tevin
The Halls of Desire EP
2001 The Best of Tevin Campbell
  • Released: January 30, 2001
  • Label: Qwest

Soundtrack albums[edit]

Year Album details
1990 Graffiti Bridge
1991 Boyz n the Hood
1994 A Low Down Dirty Shame
  • Released: November 8, 1994
  • Label: Jive
1995 A Goofy Movie
1996 A Thin Line Between Love and Hate
1997 Steel


Year Single Peak chart positions Certifications Album

1990 "Round and Round" 12 3 14 T.E.V.I.N.
1991 "Just Ask Me To" 88 9
"Tell Me What You Want Me to Do" 6 1 31 9 63
1992 "Goodbye" 85 2
"Strawberry Letter 23" 53 40 23
"One Song"
"Alone with You" 72 1
"Confused" 33
1993 "Can We Talk" 9 1 12 26 I'm Ready
"Shhh" 45 8
1994 "I'm Ready" 9 2 21 9
"Always in My Heart" 20 6 13
"Don't Say Goodbye Girl" 71 28
1996 "Knocks Me Off My Feet" [A] 75 A Thin Line Between Love and Hate
"Back to the World" 47 16 31 8 Back to the World
"I Got It Bad" 41 50
1997 "Could You Learn to Love" 73 38
1998 "Another Way" 100 25 28 96 Tevin Campbell
1999 "For Your Love" 54
"Losing All Control" 83
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

As a Featured Artist[edit]

Year Single Artist Peak chart positions Album

1990 "Tomorrow (A Better You, A Better Me)" Quincy Jones 75 1 21 22 Back on the Block
1994 "U Will Know" BMU (Black Men United) 28 5 3 23 Jason's Lyric
1998 "One Kiss" Paul Anka - - - - A Body of Work
2004 "Everything" Quincy Jones - - - - Love, Q
2007 "Overcome" Abijah - - - - Moving 2 the Top
2010 "The Secret Garden" Quincy Jones - - - - Q: Soul Bossa Nostra
2014 "Let It Flow" Full Force - - - - Full Force: With Love From Our Friends
2015 "Maybe Tomorrow" Aaron Bing - - - - Awakening
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Year Title Role Notes
1989 Wally and the Valentines Russell Valentine NBC TV Movie[28]
1990 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Little T Show starring Will Smith
Graffiti Bridge Tevin Film written and directed by, and starring Prince
1995 A Goofy Movie Powerline Disney film
New York Undercover Singer Fox show
1996 Moesha Kevin Show starring Brandy
1997 The Parent 'Hood Himself The WB sitcom

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Result Award Category Song or album
1990 Won Young Artist Award Favorite New Recording Artist "Round and Round"
1994 Won Soul Train Music Award Best R&B Single, Male "Can We Talk"
1993 Nominated Soul Train Music Award Best R&B/Soul Album - Male T.E.V.I.N.
1991 Nominated Grammy Award Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance – Male "Round and Round"
1993 Nominated Grammy Award Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance – Male T.E.V.I.N.
1994 Nominated Grammy Award Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance – Male "Can We Talk"
1995 Nominated Grammy Award Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance – Male "I'm Ready"
Nominated Grammy Award Best Rhythm & Blues Album I'm Ready
1993 Nominated American Music Award Favorite Male Artist – Soul/Rhythm & Blues
1995 Nominated American Music Award Favorite Male Artist – Soul/Rhythm & Blues


  1. ^ "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs: Tomorrow (A Better You, Better Me)". billboard.com. Retrieved 2008-07-27. [dead link]
  2. ^ "This Year's Grammys". New York Times. 1991-02-22. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  3. ^ "Back on the Block credits". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  4. ^ "T.E.V.I.N. credits". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  5. ^ "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs: "Round and Round"". billboard.com. Retrieved 2008-07-27. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Hot 100 Airplay: "Round and Round"". billboard.com. Retrieved 2008-07-27. [dead link]
  7. ^ a b c "Tevin Campbell: Billboard Chart History". billboard.com. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  8. ^ "Rhythmic Top 40: "Always in My Heart"". billboard.com. Retrieved 2008-07-27. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Recurrents: "U Will Know"". billboard.com. Retrieved 2008-07-27. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Singer Tevin Campbell Arrested On Solicitation, Marijuana Charges In Los Angeles". Jet. 1999-09-13. Archived from the original on 2008-08-16. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  11. ^ David, Cara Joy (2005-12-06). "R&B Singer Tevin Campbell Joins the Cast of B'way's Hairspray". broadway.com. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  12. ^ "Hairspray The Musical - Australia". hairspraythemusical.com.au. 2010-08-04. Retrieved 2011-08-09. 
  13. ^ http://www.bet.com/news/music/2014/06/16/tevin-campbell-wows-new-york-city.html
  14. ^ http://madamenoire.com/443129/tevin-campbell-is-working-on-a-new-album/
  15. ^ http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/the-juice/6150293/tevin-campbell-aims-to-reignite-career-at-first-essence-music-festival
  16. ^ http://www.soultracks.com/story-full-force-new-album
  17. ^ http://www.prlog.org/12394858-five-time-grammy-nominee-tevin-campbell-joins-the-spectra-music-group.html
  18. ^ http://www.theo2.co.uk/indigo2/view-event.html?eventId=8451
  19. ^ a b c d e f "US Charts > Tevin Campbell". Billboard. Retrieved 2013-07-12. 
  20. ^ a b "AUS Charts > Tevin Campbell". ARIA Charts. Retrieved 2013-07-12. 
  21. ^ a b c "NZ Charts > Tevin Campbell". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2013-07-12. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f "US Certifications > Tevin Campbell". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2012-07-12. 
  23. ^ a b "NLD Charts > Tevin Campbell". MegaCharts. Retrieved 2013-07-12. 
  24. ^ "UK Charts > Tevin Campbell". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2013-07-12. 
  25. ^ a b "US Charts > Black Men United". Billboard. Retrieved 2013-07-13. 
  26. ^ "UK Charts > BMU (Black Men United)". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2013-07-13. 
  27. ^ "UK Charts > BMU". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2013-07-13. 
  28. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1143921/

External links[edit]