Fans have always wondered about the s*xual orientation of the multidimensional and gifted musician Kehlani since she has always been transparent about her identity and personal life. In a time when artists are shattering barriers and redefining expectations, people have been talking about Kehlani’s s*xual orientation.
Examining Kehlani’s s*xual orientation gives another level of insight into her life away from the spotlight. Answering these questions not only satisfies interest but also advances the ongoing conversation on LGBTQ+ representation in the music business. Let’s examine the nuances of Kehlani’s s*xual orientation and give the musician credit for her openness and transparency.
Is Kehlani Gay?
Kehlani is expressing what’s true. The R&B singer, 25, revealed her s*xual orientation as a lesbian on Thursday on TikTok through a video. “I’m just gonna f—ing say it because everybody keeps bringing it up to me,” the artist declares at the start of the video.
Pop Crave recorded the now-deleted video, which Kehlani posted to Twitter, featuring her sayings, “I finally know I’m a lesbian” and “I am gay, g-gay, gay.”
Kehlani officially comes out as a lesbian in new TikTok. 🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/P1R8KJK34c
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) April 22, 2021
In a playful manner, the “Can I” hitmaker—who uses the pronouns she/they—told fans she’d encountered a problem when she “want(s) to have these heart-to-hearts with my family and my friends” over their s*xual orientation. “I’m like, ‘Guys, I finally know that I’m gay — like, I’m gay gay,’ and they’re like, ‘We know. Duh, stupid. Duh,'” she joked.
Kehlani’s Early Life
On April 24, 1995, Kehlani Ashley Parrish was born in Oakland, California. After their drug-addicted mother did time in jail, they were taken in by their aunt and nurtured by her.
When Kehlani and her brother were young toddlers, their drug-addicted father passed away. They first took dancing classes at the Oakland School for the Arts while they were teenagers, specializing in ballet and modern dance.
Kehlani had initially intended to train at the Juilliard School as a dancer, but a knee injury they sustained in junior high caused them to focus on singing instead. Living with their aunt, Kehlani was mainly exposed to R&B and neo-soul musicians, including Jill Scott, Lauryn Hill, and Erykah Badu.
Kehlani now cites these artists as some of their early musical influences. Kehlani was asked to join Poplyfe, a local pop cover band when they were fourteen years old.
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Kehlani’s singing career officially got underway when she joined PopLyfe and served as their lead vocalist. D’Wayne Wiggins, a former member of Tony! Toni! Tone! Produced the band’s music.
The group performed all around the Bay Area and other cities in less than two years. They participated in the sixth season of America’s Got Talent in 2011 and placed fourth overall. Judge Piers Morgan said to Kehlani at their last performance, “You’ve got real talent, but I don’t think you need the group.”
Kehlani quit PopLyfe following the conclusion of America’s Got Talent due to multiple management and contract problems. To prevent being sued by the group’s management, they refrained from doing anything music-related for more than six months.
Kehlani was essentially homeless in 2012 and 2013, living from house to house and frequently sleeping on couches. They relocated to Los Angeles, California, during their senior year of high school without the presence of a guardian.
In 2013, Kehlani received a call from Nick Cannon, the America’s Got Talent host during PopLyfe’s tenure, inquiring about her involvement in a rap trio. They initially consented and traveled to Los Angeles, but they eventually returned to Oakland because they didn’t like the group’s direction.
They decided to start stealing things from grocery stores and iPhones to sell in order to help with money and food. A few months later, Kehlani posted their debut solo song, “ANTISUMMERLUV,” to SoundCloud. After hearing the song, Cannon called them back and offered to buy them studio time in addition to a residence in Los Angeles.