Singer Sufjan Stevens Publicly Comes Out by Dedicating New Album to Late Partner Evans Richardson

Singer Sufjan Stevens Publicly Comes Out by Dedicating New Album to Late Partner Evans Richardson
Sufjan Stevens and his late partner Evans Richardson.Getty Images; Courtesy of Sufjan Stevens/Instagram

Sufjan Stevens publicly came out as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community in the footnotes of his new album, Javelin.

JAVELIN is out today. Thank you for listening. I love you. This album is dedicated to the light of my life, my beloved partner and best friend Evans Richardson, who passed away in April,” Stevens, 48, wrote via Instagram on Friday, October 6. “He was an absolute gem of a person, full of life, love, laughter, curiosity, integrity and joy. He was one of those rare and beautiful ones you find only once in a lifetime — precious, impeccable, and absolutely exceptional in every way.”

The Grammy-nominated musician had never previously addressed his relationship status or sexuality prior to Friday’s social media upload.

A photo of Richardson, who died at the age of 43, lounging on a bed was posted alongside Stevens’ caption. According to a Dignity Memorial obituary originally published on April 30, Evans Richardson IV hailed from St. Louis, Missouri, before relocating to New York. He served as the chief of staff at Harlem’s Studio Museum, an institution dedicated to the work of African-American artists, for nearly 11 years. A cause of death has not been shared.

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It is not known when Stevens and Richardson began dating, though Stevens’ Friday note hinted at their romantic dynamic.

“I know relationships can be very difficult sometimes, but it’s always worth it to put in the hard work and care for the ones you love, especially the beautiful ones, who are few and far between,” Stevens penned. “If you happen to find that kind of love, hold it close, hold it tight, savor it, tend to it, and give it everything you’ve got, especially in times of trouble. Be kind, be strong, be patient, be forgiving, be vigorous, be wise, and be yourself.”

Singer Sufjan Stevens Publicly Comes Out by Dedicating New Album to Late Partner Evans Richardson
Sufjan StevensKevin Winter/Getty Images

He concluded: “Live every day as if it is your last, with fullness and grace, with reverence and love, with gratitude and joy. This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Stevens recently underwent treatment for Guillain-Barré Syndrome ahead of Javelin’s release.

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“I’m very excited about having new music to share, but I just wanted to let you know that one of the reasons why I haven’t been able to participate in the press and promotion leading up to the release of Javelin is [because] I am in the hospital,” he wrote via Instagram in September. “Last month I woke up one morning and couldn’t walk. My hands, arms and legs were numb and tingling and I had no strength, no feeling, no mobility. My brother drove me to the ER and after a series of tests — MRIs, EMGs, cat scans, X-rays, spinal taps (!), echo-cardiograms, etc. — the neurologists diagnosed me with an autoimmune disorder called Guillian-Barre Syndrome.”

He added at the time: “Luckily there’s treatment for this — they administer immuno-hemoglobin infusions for five days and pray that the disease doesn’t spread to the lungs, heart and brain. Very scary, but it worked.”

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