Who Is Omar Apollo? 5 Things to Know as His Explicit Album Cover Goes Viral

Who Is Omar Apollo? 5 Things to Know About the Singer Making Headlines for His Album Cover
Omar Apollo Presley Ann/Getty Images for Spotify

Omar Apollo is making headlines for more than just his music. The “Evergreen” singer posed nude for a painting by artist Doran Langberg, which was featured on the cover of Apollo’s Live for Me EP.

While the front of Apollo’s album, released in early October 2023, featured his bare top half, the back cover had the rest of his body on full display.

“We go into his studio, which I’ve already been in, we hung out, we talked, we had a great time, we connected,” Apollo — whose real name is Omar Apolonio Velasco — recalled of the artist during his Live For Me Immersive Listening Experience event, which was held at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) in October 2023. “Then, we do the first painting. And then I go, ‘Let’s go get a sandwich, let’s go do a lunch break, and then you decide afterwards if you still want to do the d–k portrait.’”

Apollo admitted he was “nervous” about it at first. “I’m a confident guy, don’t get me wrong, but I was nervous about it,” he added.

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The musician, however, seemed unbothered when the painting was finished.

“My d–ks about to be in the MoMa if any of my friends wanna pull up text me,” he shared via X (formerly Twitter) following his EP’s release.

Apollo rose to fame in 2017 after uploading his song “Ugotme” to Spotify. The following year, Apollo released his debut EP, Stereo, in May 2018. After he signed a deal with Warner Records in 2022, Apollo’s debut album, Ivory, was released in April of that year.

Following the success of his first-ever album, Apollo was nominated in the Best New Artist category at the 2023 Grammy Awards. Keep reading for everything to know about the musician:

Who Is Omar Apollo? 5 Things to Know About the Singer Making Headlines for His Album Cover
Taylor Hill/Getty Images

1. Apollo Is an Indiana Native

The singer’s parents immigrated to the United States from Mexico, and they raised Apollo and his three older siblings in Hobart, Indiana.

2. Apollo Is Outspoken About His Sexuality

During an interview with NPR in April 2022, Apollo referred to himself as “very gay.” However, he’s since revealed that he’s not big on labels.

“This generation of queer kids don’t want to label themselves,” Apollo told Variety in October 2022. “I think that that’s the coolest thing. … There’s no need for labels. … Queer is, I feel, a good label, if we’re gonna label it.”

Who Is Omar Apollo? 5 Things to Know About the Singer Making Headlines for His Album Cover
Burak Cingi/Redferns

3. Apollo Has Famous Friends

Since his rise to fame, Apollo has become a household name — even among celebrities. He formed close-knit bonds with The Last of Us star Pedro Pascal and Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, among others.

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4. Apollo Taught Himself How to Play the Guitar

He’s a self-taught musician, revealing that at 12 years old, he learned to play acoustic guitar by watching Camp Rock covers on YouTube.

“I deadass was on that, cause I ain’t know nothing else besides TV,” he recalled to Remezcla in 2019. “We had a radio but I ain’t have no Wi-Fi or nothing yet, so it was just what was on the TV.”

5. Apollo Is an Award-Winning Musician

While he didn’t take home Best New Artist at the 2023 Grammy Awards, Apollo was named the Future Icon at the 2022 Variety Hitmakers Awards and took home the Inspira Award at the 2023 Hispanic Heritage Awards.