Frank Ocean's "Channel Orange" will arrive on iTunes early Tuesday morning, Billboard.com has confirmed. The early release of the album will be available exclusively from the iTunes store until its official July 17 launch.
R&B singer Ocean, an Odd Future member who has worked with Beyonce, Kanye West and Jay-Z, drew attention last week for a much-discussed blog post revealing a past relationship with a man. His honesty drew industry support from figures including Russell Simmons, Tyler, the Creator, and Beyonce, who responsed with a post on her own site, writing, "Be fearless / be honest / be generous / be brave / be poetic / be open / be free / be yourself / be in love / be happy / be inspiration."
The anticipated album will be his Def Jam bow after the 2011 release of "Nostalgia, Ultra," a mixtape Ocean shared online himself after a period of label frustration.
The iTunes launch, due after midnight, is expected to be announced on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" on Monday night, where Ocean will join the Roots for his television performance debut.
While it's too early to tell how well the album will sell in its first week, some industry sources suggest a top 10 debut on next week's Billboard 200 chart is likely. We'll have a better forecast of its sales on Wednesday, July 11.
Ocean's possible top 10 arrival would follow a pair of top five debuts from the Odd Future gang. Earlier this year, Odd Future's "The OF Tape Vol. 2" debuted at No. 5 with 40,000 in its first week (according to Nielsen SoundScan), while in 2011, Tyler, the Creator's "Goblin" also bowed at No. 5 with a 45,000 launch. However, unlike "Channel Orange," neither of those titles were exclusive to one retailer in their first week.