Frank Ocean has had quite a few 2012 successes, namely his critically acclaimed, best-selling and now Grammy-nominated album Channel Orange and a personal triumph in his admission of loving a man, for which Ocean received an outpouring of support both for his honesty and for breaking boundaries in the hip-hop and R&B communities.
Therefore it should come as no surprise to learn that Ocean has been named mtvU’s Man of the Year, along with Pakistani social activist Malala Yousafzai who was named Woman of the Year.
All things considered, Ocean has been “having a moment” for almost the whole year. A few of our favorite performance benchmarks include his stirring, stripped-down performance at the VMAs and his debut on “Saturday Night Live,” which included an assist on guitar from John Mayer.
Ocean has been in high demand by other artists wanting to work with him, including Alicia Keys, who recently admitted that she was incredibly fortunate to collaborate with him on a song for her Girl on Fire album.
Admirably, Ocean seems unfazed by all the acclaim and attention and told MTV News recently that he felt 2012 was a “peaceful but active” year for him.
Yousafzai is a 15-year-old activist who survived being shot in the head by Taliban soldiers that opposed her fight for equal-opportunity education in Pakistan. The fearless activist has no qualms about facing a literal firing squad in her fight for education.
“Even if they come to kill me, I will tell them what they are trying to do is wrong, that education is our basic right,” she said recently. Yousafzai’s efforts were recognized by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who declared November 10 “Malala Day” in an effort to draw attention to the global struggle for women’s education.
“Malala courageously risked everything to stand up against the brutal forces that tried to silence her. In the face of intensely dangerous opposition, she refuses to stop fighting for equality, and at just 15 years old, is already an icon for her generation and the world,” said Stephen Freidman, president of MTV. “mtvU is proud to shine a spotlight on her, and on Frank Ocean, whose boundary-shattering music and commitment to personal expression has touched and inspired millions. He refused to let homophobia stop him, and the cultural impact of his work will echo for years to come.”
“Big & Best of 2012: A Year End Celebration Presented by T-Mobile” goes LIVE at 12 p.m. on 12/12/12. Watch bigandbestof2012.com for eight hours of showstopping performances by Bruno Mars, Miguel, Grace Potter, Metric, Alt-J, Thompson Square, First Aid Kit and Dustin Lynch, plus surprise guest appearances, prize giveaways, special editions of “RapFix Live,” “Big Morning Buzz Live,” “MTV News After Hours,” “You Oughta Know” and much more!