Kirk Franklin(American Singer)
Kirk Franklin BIOGRAPHY
Kirk Dewayne Franklin, an American lyricist, choir conductor, gospel singer, and rapper, was born on January 26, 1970. He is well recognised for being the director of Christian R&B and urban contemporary gospel groups including The Family, God’s Property, and One Nation Crew (1NC), among many more. Among the many honours he has received are 19 Grammy Awards. Franklin was labelled a “Reigning King of Urban Gospel” by Variety and was among the first people to be inducted into the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame.
A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Franklin was raised by his aunt, Gertrude, having been abandoned as a baby by his mother. Gertrude recycled aluminum cans to raise money for Kirk to take piano lessons from the age of four. Kirk excelled and was able to read and write music while also playing by ear.
At Oscar Dean Wyatt High School, Franklin took music classes with Jewell Kelly and the Singing Chaparrals. She continued to train him, and eventually he was the choir’s pianist. When Franklin was 15 years old, he witnessed a friend being shot to death. Franklin then went back to the church and once more oversaw the choir. Additionally, he was a founding member of the gospel ensemble The Humble Hearts, who made a recording of one of Franklin’s compositions and caught the ear of Georgia Mass Choir musical director and legendary gospel musician Milton Biggham. Biggham was so impressed that he asked him to conduct the DFW Mass Choir while they recorded the song “Every Day with Jesus” by Aretha Franklin. As a result, Biggham hired Franklin, who was only 20 at the time, to direct the choir.
In 1992, Franklin organized “The Family”, which was a 17-voice choir, formed from neighborhood friends and associates. In 1992, Vicki Mack-Lataillade, the co-founder of fledgling GospoCentric Records label, heard one of their demo tapes and was so impressed she immediately signed up Kirk & The Family to a recording contract.
The group, now referred to as “Kirk Franklin & The Family”, issued its debut album in 1993 under the name Kirk Franklin & The Family. The song reached platinum sales status after spending nearly two years on the gospel music charts and R&B charts. For 42 weeks, it held the top spot on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart. It followed Aretha Franklin’s Amazing Grace and BeBe & CeCe Winans’
The Nu Nation Project was released in 1998. The first single, “Lean on Me“, produced by Franklin and pop producer Dan Shea, featured several mainstream artists, including R. Kelly, Mary J. Bligeand Bono of U2 together with Crystal Lewis and The Family. “Lean on Me” and the second single “Revolution” (featuring Rodney Jerkins) were considerable hits, and the album contained a version of a Bill Withers song “Gonna Be a Lovely Day“. The Nu Nation Project went on to top the Billboard Contemporary Christian Albums chart for 23 weeks and the Billboard Gospel Albums chart for 49 weeks, and brought Franklin his third Grammy.
In 2001, he produced the soundtrack for the film Kingdom Come. The soundtrack included gospel artists Mary Mary, Trin-i-tee 5:7, Crystal Lewis, and Franklin’s group 1NC, as well as mainstream artists Az Yet, Jill Scott, Tamar Braxton, Shawn Stockmanof Boyz II Men and others.
The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin was released in February 2002 after being delayed. It topped the Gospel Albums chart for 29 weeks, was No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, and was certified Platinum. The album featured collaborations with Bishop T.D. Jakes, Shirley Caesar, Willie Neal Johnson, TobyMac, Crystal Lewis, Jaci Velasquez, Papa San, Alvin Slaughter, and Yolanda Adams.
Franklin said that portions of his acceptance speech that were removed from the broadcast of the 2019 GMA Dove Awards on October 20 by Trinity Broadcasting Network were related to the police officer’s shooting of Atatiana Jefferson. The fact that they had previously modified his victory speech to eliminate “reflections on police violence against Black Americans” prompted him to declare that he would no longer attend the award ceremony. Franklin received an apology from GMA President Jackie Patillo, and GMA released an unedited version of the speech with the explanation that it was an accident and that they were trying to shorten the length to fit a two-hour time period. Other artists joined Franklin in his boycott.
He was one of the first people to be inducted into the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame in 2021. Franklin and American rapper Lil Baby released the song “We Win” on May 21, 2021, as part of the soundtrack for the movie Space Jam: A New Legacy. Franklin released Father’s Day, his thirteenth studio album, on October 14, 2023.
Franklin wed his longtime friend Tammy Collins on January 20, 1996. They each had a child from a prior relationship when they got married. They are parents of two children as a couple.
In 2023, Franklin met his biological father Richard Hubbard for the first time and reconciled with his son Kerrion in his documentary film Father’s Day: A Kirk Franklin Story.
Kirk Franklin & The Family
- Kirk Franklin and the Family (1993)
- Kirk Franklin & the Family Christmas(1995)
- Whatcha Lookin’ 4 (1996)
Kirk Franklin’s Nu Nation
Kirk Franklin and 1 Nation Crew
- Kirk Franklin Presents 1NC (2000)
- The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin (2002)
- Hero (2005)
- The Fight of My Life (2007)
- Hello Fear (2011)
- Losing My Religion (2015)
- Long, Live, Love (2019)
- Father’s Day (2023)
Kirk Franklin & Maverick City Music
- Kingdom Book One (2022)
- Victoria Monet’s “On My Mama”will boost your confidence - 5 December 2023
- Taika Waititi’s “Next Goal Wins”: The Real Story - 29 November 2023
- In Hadestown on Broadway, Jordan Fisher performs “Wait for Me.” - 27 November 2023