Born in Waxahachie, Texas,Tevin Campbell by the age of four, had a passion for singing. Likened to such greats as Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson, Campbell 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. Apart from his favorite singer, Aretha Franklin, his greatest influence as a child was probably his mother, Rhonda Byrd. Then a postal worker, she was known to the Texas congregation as “little Aretha.”
As Campbell told Dennis Hunt of the Los Angeles Times, “[My mother] pushed me and made me see trying to be a big solo singer was something I should do. Without her pushing, I’d still be in the background. To some extent, that’s what happened to her. She has a good singing voice that she never fully developed. I guess nobody pushed her to get ahead. She didn’t want to see me waste my talent too. When I was younger I wasn’t sure what I wanted, but she knew what was best for me, and I went along with it.” Rhonda went on to become Tevin’s co-manager.
In 1988 a friend of Campbell’s mother arranged for the budding young singer to audition for jazz flutist Bobbie Humphrey by singing over the phone to her in New York. Humphrey took an immediate interest in Campbell and submitted an audio and videotape to Warner Bros., which led to a meeting with Benny Medina, the label’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.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.After working with Jones and writers and producers including Siedah Garrett, Campbell worked with producers Narada Michael Walden, Al B. Sure, Babyface, and others to record additional music
Campbell played the role of Seaweed J. Stubbs in the Broadway musical Hairspray. He joined the cast in December 2005. Campbell reprised his role of Seaweed in the Broadway musical, Hairspray, in the Melbourne and Sydney productions in Australia