Thanks for your question on Tevin Campbell. First, the question of
sex - It seems Tevin was arrested and pleaded no contest to soliciting
oral sex from an undercover (male) LA police officer. Here is an
excerpt from the 11/29/1999 issue of Jet about the incident:
"Singer Tevin Campbell was recently ordered to attend Narcotics
Anonymous and an AIDS awareness class after he pleaded no contest to
soliciting oral sex from an undercover L.A. police officer last July.
Campbell 22, was also fined $ 1,080 for the misdemeanor conviction. He
also was ordered to return to court in February to show proof that he
has completed the requirements of his sentence.
When he was arrested officers recovered what they said resembled
marijuana and a pipe containing marijuana, according to his arrest
report. Campbell was one of many men arrested in San Fernando Valley
section of L.A. for either engaging in lewd acts in public or for
soliciting lewd acts. The area of the arrests has several churches,
and elementary school, a high school, single family homes and
apartments. The arrests were made following complaints, officers told
Tevin's career apparently fell into steep decline after this event.
His last original album was from 1999 (the self-titled "Tevin
Campbell"). His last release was a best-of album in 2001.
Tevin was briefly in the news recently when an American Idol
contestant (Nikko Smith) performed a cover of his "Can We Talk." Here
is an excerpt of a story on this event from the 3/31/2005 edition of
the St. Louis Post-Dispatch [Kevin C. Johnson]:
"St. Louis' Nikko Smith was the first 'American Idol' contestant on
last week's show to learn that he was still safe in the competition,
and the same thing happened Wednesday night when the comeback kid was
again the first contestant announced to go on another week.
Smith's continuation in the contest came after a well-received
performance of Tevin Campbell's 'Can We Talk' on Tuesday night."
In December, 2002, Tevin performed a holiday concert at Safari Park
Hotel in Nairobi. Here is an excerpt of an article from the
12/21/2002 issue of Africa News about the event:
"Meanwhile, popular US singer Tevin Campbell is due to stage a
Christmas Eve show on Tuesday at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi.
Campbell is best known for such hit songs as I'm Ready, Can we Talk
and Always in My Heart. Others include Come Fly with Me. He has also
recorded some Christmas songs, including Holy Nights for a very
This article excerpt, from the December 19, 2002 Africa News discusses
the start of his ongoing stint in Africa:
"Some of us remember him as the sweet 14-year-old kid who made a
splashy impression on Quincy Jones' Back on the Block LP, singing lead
on Tomorrow back in the late '80s.
Campbell made an impact at the time he earned a solo deal with Jones'
Qwest label. Well, over the years, he became so big musically that he
got his place among the best.
Who can forget the years growing up with Tevin as the star of the day?
The sweet teenager we saw crooning his heart away in one of the
biggest hit of his career Tell Me What You Want Me Do. Then his cover
of Prince's Round And Round that blew our minds. But that was 1991.
Still, Campbell never stopped there. From his second release, I'm
Ready, came the monster hit Can We Talk, written and produced by the
day's prolific writer/producer Babyface and partner Daryl Simmons.
With its percussive rhythm track and sensuous melody, Campbell
patiently stepped into the lyric but soon bowed to an urgent cry. The
infectious chorus has a timeless ring and Campbell's tenor, riffs and
all, gels as the song builds. It held the number one spot on the
Billboard R&B charts for three consecutive weeks.
Again that was in 1993. Campbell is no longer the child prodigy of
yesteryear. A far cry from the innocuous teenager with a fluffy line
of moustache starting to sprout that we saw in music videos at that
time. We met the 26-year-old star at Hotel Africana when he arrived
last Thursday. He officially met the press then. We also crept up on
him after his Radio One interview the next day at the station's
studios for an exclusive.
Campbell left the country for Nairobi where he is expected to perform
this weekend. He will return to Uganda to hold a show on New Year's
Eve at Nile Hotel Gardens for sh20,000.
Campbell looks a lot lighter, leaner and slightly taller than we saw
him in his videos. Time has also taken its toll on the sweet childish
facial features that endeared Campbell to millions of music fans
across the globe yet that childish sweetness, that appealing quality,
is still detectable in his music today and, if only for old time's
sake, endears him to us the more. He keeps a straight countenance,
very composed and welcoming. He is very unassuming and without the
characteristic celebrity pomp that one would expect of him.
As members of the press scrambled for a photo opportunity and
autographs with Campbell, many still incredulous that he was actually
here, the two kayamas (bouncers) contracted for his personal security
from Marine gym, fought hard to fend them off. But Campbell, the
object of attention was never stirred. He gazed on unaffected. As we
talked to him, we were increasingly amazed at his simplicity. The
African-American singer who narrated his rise from a child star to one
of the most sought-after international singers, wore a pair of shoes
he bought at the age of 16!
Widely regarded as an American pop idol, Campbell told us he hates
jewellry -- a characteristic of most American celebrity singers.
Though both of his ears are pierced, there were no dangling earrings.
Campbell's story as a music maestro dates back to his early childhood.
Growing up as a child in Dallas, Texas, Campbell never had friends
amongst his contemporaries. 'My fellow agemates hated me because I
never played with them. I was always singing,' She recalls. The
light-skinned singer of the 1999 hit Another Way started singing at
the age of three! 'That is when it all started. Professionally though,
it was at 12,' he said. 'But also I liked soccer and baseball. I still
enjoy those two games.'
Unlike other Americans who are mad about American football, Campbell
said: 'I am just too skinny for it.'
Campbell was raised in a Church. 'I used to go to Church every Sunday
and Tuesday. Now I move with God wherever I go,' he explained. He
admitted that Church has always had a bearing on his music. 'I never
looked at being a musician. It just happened,' he revealed in a strong
The singer with a sugary voice has not had a major hit since the
single Another Way from the album of Another Way, yet that album by
Campbell's own admission 'was never successful.' It is not clear
whether that was the reason he left his previous record label, Warner
Brothers and Campbell just would not talk about it, but he is
presently under no contract. However, that has not arrested the
singer's attempts at staying on top of his game.
The singer has just completed the recording of five new songs and he
is in the final stages of negotiations with a new label he refuses to
'This new one will be really hot,' he said. Asked whether it will be
the usual Tevin Campbell stuff, the jovial singer said: 'The love
ballads will be there and lots of new stuff. It's gonna be a surprise
to all my fans.'
That aside, Campbell has resorted to tours to keep his name alive. "I
have not been actively recording for the last few years but have done
a lot of tours with people like Boyz II Men," he said.
It was such tours that first brought him to Africa in 1998. 'I held
shows in South Africa then. Those were my best performances because
they all sold out. All the shows had huge turnups,' he recalled.
This is his third visit to Africa. Campbell says it is not unique for
him to celebrate this Christmas and New Year in Africa, but rather an
honour he will never forget.
'I didn't know I had all these fans here. It's just unbelievable,' he
said. 'Ugandans are very hospitable people. Everybody was waving, a
thing you never get while in California.' Oh, and he will savour the
flavour of our matooke. 'I am going to taste out the local dishes,' he
Campbell says his greatest achievements in life are the 15 years of
his musical career. 'At least I have been around for this long. It's a
great achievement,' he said.
During his free time, the singer loves to read and write, listen to
music, take a walk and exercise his dog. He is single but would like
to get one child. He prefers a girl. 'I also love visiting the malls
but not to do shopping. The only things I enjoy shopping are clothes
and shoes. I have many pairs of shoes,' he said.
He names his idols as all-time favourites Marvin Gay and Steve Wonder.
'Oh, Luther Vandross! I used to imitate his voice. He is a lovely
guy,' he excitedly said.
Campbell has one sister and a brother. The brother, Marche is an
artist while his sister, Mario works for a computer company. His
mother manages him. 'She is flying in for the show. She has to be
here,' he revealed. And your father? He paused for a while and said:
'I don't have any relationship with my father.'
What exactly happened? 'It's no big deal. I don't have any
relationship with him,' he insisted. Unlike other celebrities who
demand heavenly things while here, Campbell is different. He is
down-to-earth. After the interview, he jumped into Hemdee Kiwanuka's
short Chassis Mitsubishi Pajero and sped off --a thing some
celebrities can't even think of."
Tevin got into some further trouble in 2003, this time in Uganda,
where he was held for nonpayment of his hotel bills. Here is an
excerpt of an article from Africa News from January 9, 2003 about the
"US pop singer Tevin Campbell (pictured) who staged a show at the Nile
Hotel in Kampala on New Year's eve, was held at Hotel Africana with
his mother, Rhonda Byrd, over unpaid bills.
Kalungi Kabuye and Geoffrey Kamali quote sources as saying the
musician disagreed with the organisers over the money from the show.
The US-based Ugandan singer Halima Namakula organised the show.
The sources said Tevin could not talk to the show organisers whose
phones were off but was helped by a Ugandan friend to contact a lawyer
who helped sort out the issue. Campbell had reportedly asked for
US$10,000. Namakula said he asked for more money after seeing a big
audience. She said they had high bills to foot.
This is the latest controversy involving foreign musicians.Tanzania's
Saida Kaloli got sh50,000 while DRC's General Defao was rescued by
Juma Seiko after his promoters reportedly vanished with the money."
Tevin was mentioned in the news on 11/26/2004 for visiting the
www.musicuganda.com website and lending his support. Here is an
excerpt of a news article from the November 26, 2004 issue of Africa
News [New Vision]:
"INTERNATIONAL R&B music star, Tevin Campbell, and international
syndicated radio show host, Walt Baby Love of the US-based World Chat
Show, are among 20,000 foreign music lovers, who have visited
www.musicuganda.com, a website that features Ugandan music and
According to Paul Mwandha of P-TECH website providers, Tevin Campbell
and Walt Baby Love, have visited the website and even signed in their
guest book. He adds that Ugandan music and artistes can be freely
obtained beyond the physical borders...
Music lovers can download local music off this site."
Tevin was in Uganda and Rwanda in December, 2004, where he performed
at held interviews. Here is an excerpt from an article from New
Vision (Uganda) from 12/14/2002:
"Tevin Campbell is the R & B American singer, will hold radio
interviews this morning after arriving yesterday. Hewill then hold
rehearsals over the weekend and record a Jam Agenda live session
outside WBS TV station. He will thenperform December 30 a VIP show at
the Nile Hotel Gardens. On New Year's Eve he will perform at Lugogo
Oval Grounds.Tevin's tour will also take him to Rwanda.
Among the bevy of local artists to open up for the young acclaimed
singer will be dance hall aces Jose Chameleon and Bebe Cool (the one
of the tap root dreads and constant scandals!), Menton Krono (of Mwege
fame) and Sylvia Kyansuti (thebroad who sang with Bebe Cool).
Local Artists For Xmas Charity
This month most of our young stars are lined up as curtain raisers for
many of these upcoming shows. The week started with the arrival of the
all-girl UK-based outfit, The Shamay Girls.
On Wednesday, Roselyn Otim 'The Jewel Of The Nile' sailed into the
country from the UK as well. She's on next weekend at the Lugogo
Indoor Stadium where's expected to raise funds for disadvantaged
Tevin worked on a Reggae album by Abijah in 2004. Here is a news
article from eurweb.com about Abijah that mentions Tevin's
" Last year Abijah recorded the song Overcome with one time rhythm
and blues hit maker and former child star, Tevin Campbell. Among the
other artistes whom Abijah has collaborated with are DJ Krush (Japan),
American female roots-reggae artist Zema, Nadine Sutherland and Nadz.
He also recorded the title track and appeared in the 2002
international advertising campaign for the Jamaica Tourist Board. "
Here is a link to a news article posted on a usenet newsgroup with
more details on the Abijah album, including mention of a video shot in
Boston with Tevin:
Here are some Tevin Campbell web pages, which you may have already come across:
The Rolling Stone page on Tevin Campbell can be found here:
Tevin has contributed to the music for several films, but none after
1999. A list can be found at the TV-Tome page here:
The VH1 bio can be found here:
This site has further information, but nothing more recent than 2002:
Another (dated) site:
The AllMusic site for Tevin:
Tevin is now 28 (his birthday is November 11).
Some useful searches:
Google News: "tevin campbell" -nikko
Google: "tevin campbell"
Lexis-Nexis: campbell, tevin (multiple databases)
I hope this was informative. Please feel free to request any clarification.