Was there a moment in your life that changed everything?
That was the question Matt Lauer asked his guests during his TIME 100 Most Influential People interviews, which included R&B’s buzziest newcomer Frank Ocean. The channel Orange crooner was inducted this year because of his honesty and bravery to come out to the public and admit that he was in love with a man in an open letter he posted on Tumblr last summer.
“Four summers ago, I met somebody. I was 19 years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost. And on the days we were together, time would glide. Most of the day I’d see him, and his smile. I’d hear his conversation and his silence…until it was time to sleep. Sleep I would often share with him. By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless. There was no escaping, no negotiating with the feeling. No choice. It was my first love, it changed my life.” he wrote.
VIBE’s 2012 Man of the Year admits to Lauer that his first love was the moment that changed everything. “When I fell in love, for the first time,” he says with a smile. Lauer then asked Frank to share what he is most proud of. “My mother,” Frank shared. “She’s the strongest person I know, and the one I’ve seen in action be most selfless.”
Watch the influential inductees share their personal triumphs above.-Terry Carter Jr.