Christopher Francis Ocean was born Christopher Breaux but best known as Frank Ocean. Born on October 28, 1987 in Long Beach California, Ocean and his family moved to New Orleans, Louisiana when he was five and a half. The city had a profound effect on him as a child with its different atmosphere including the popularity of jazz.
The local jazz scene, topped up with his mother's fondness of Celine Dion, "The Phantom of Opera" and Anita Baker, gave Ocean various music knowledge. In his teens, he would spend time in rented studio, paying it by doing chores. Ocean moved out of his house when entered University of New Orleans.
Tragedy struck in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans including the recording studio. Ocean moved to Los Angeles to continue doing what he loves most. During his six weeks stay in the city, his circle of friends expanded, prompting him to get more serious in the music industry. He recorded demos at a friend's studio and submitted them to local labels.
Ocean earned a songwriting deal, expanding his range of acquaintances. "There was a point where I was composing for other people, and it might have been comfy to continue to do that and enjoy that income stream and the anonymity. But that's not why I moved away from school and away from family," he said once.
Ocean began stepping up as an artist by joining a hip-hop group named Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All. With Tyler, the Creator, Ocean began making public his songwriting talent. But the solo drive was still there. Through several people, Ocean met Christopher "Tricky" Stewart who helped him to get a solo contract with Def Jam Records. His first mixtape, "Nostalgia, Ultra" was released in February 2011 to good reviews. Def Jam made plans to release the mixtape as an EP, presided by the single "Novacane".
He prepared for his biggest collaboration yet in 2011, writing for Kanye West and Jay-Z's joint project "Watch the Throne". His debut album was cooking at the same time, gaining momentum each time. "It's about the stories. If I write 14 stories that I love, then the next step is to get the environment of music around it to best envelop the story and all kinds of sonic goodness," he said about the album.
"Channel Orange" released the single "Pyramids" for free download on his Tumblr blog in June 2012. Ocean then made a startling confession that really put his name out there. He revealed he had unrequited feelings for another young man when he was 19 years old, saying it was his first love. For the hip-hop community, this was a rare occasion but Ocean maintained his decision to come out. "I don't know what happens now, and that's alrite [sic]. I don't have any secrets I need kept anymore...I feel like a free man," he wrote.
"Channel Orange" had references to his bisexuality on the songs "Bad Religion", "Pink Matter", and "Forrest Gump". The album was released July 17, 2012 in the U.S. and debuted at number 2 on the US Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 131,000 copies.
Following the album, Ocean took a very long break from music. Though he revealed in early 2013 that he had started working on his second album, the project didn't come out until August 2016. Earlier that month, he dropped a visual album called "Endless" before following it up with his second studio installment, "Blonde", which received praises from critics.
The project, featuring guest vocals from the likes of Beyonce Knowles, Kendrick Lamar and Andre 3000 a.k.a. Andre Benjamin among others, made its debut on Billboard 200 at No. 1 with 276,000 equivalent units in its first week. About 232,000 of which were traditional album sales.