An American choir conductor, gospel singer, dancer, songwriter, and author, Kirk Dewayne Franklin was born on January 26, 1970.
Most notably, he has directed numerous urban contemporary gospel choirs, including the aforementioned The Family, God’s Property, and One Nation Crew 1NC.
There are a lot of trophies he can brag about, including 16 Grammys. Franklin is one of the first honorees in the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame and has been called the “Reigning King of Urban Gospel” by Variety.
Franklin grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, with his aunt Gertrude after his mother left him with her. At the age of four, Gertrude began selling recycled aluminium cans in order to put Kirk through piano lessons.
Kirk Franklin was exceptionally talented; he could play by ear and read sheet music. Note: Citation is required.
Franklin’s aunt rejected his first contract when he was seven years old. At age 11, he joined the church choir and eventually led the adult choir at Mt. Rose Baptist Church.
Franklin was raised in a strict religious household until he was a teenager, at which time his grandmother, concerned for his well-being, had him audition for a professional youth conservatory affiliated with a nearby university.
He was welcomed in, but later faced challenges including his partner being pregnant and being expelled from school due to poor behaviour.
Franklin took music classes with Jewell Kelly and the Singing Chaparrals while he was a student at Oscar Dean Wyatt High School. He continued learning from her and eventually took over as the choir’s pianist.
Franklin, after witnessing the gunshot death of a buddy when he was 15 years old, went back to leading the church choir.
When gospel music icon Milton Bingham, musical director of the Georgia Mass Choir, heard a recording of one of Franklin’s compositions performed by the gospel group he helped start, The Humble Hearts, he quickly became interested in the group.
Biggham was so taken with him that he asked him to conduct the DFW Mass Choir while they recorded “Every Day with Jesus” by Aretha Franklin.
After hearing Franklin’s music, Biggham hired the then-20-year-old singer to conduct the choir at the 1990 Gospel Music Workshop of America Convention.
Kirk Franklin Controversy
Kirk Franklin, a gospel music legend who has won 16 Grammy Awards, issued an apology on Saturday after his estranged son Kerrion Franklin released a profanity-laced tape of an incident between the two.
“I’ll crack your skull open (N-word). On Saturday, 32-year-old Kerrion Franklin shared an NSFW video on his Instagram in which his father, Kirk Franklin, can be heard warning him, “Don’t you ever disrespect me.” As both Franklins put it, the phone call was “recent.”
Kirk Franklin experienced success both with his ensemble Kirk Franklin & The Family and on his own as a solo artist. He’s worked alongside music legends like Whitney Houston, R. Kelly, and Mary J. Blige over the years.
Kirk Franklin released a video in which he apologised for his family’s “destructive connection” with Kerrion and said they had “tried for many years via counselling, through therapy to solve this private family concern.”
He went on, “My son and I had a dispute recently, and he decided to record it. That interaction made me feel so mistreated that I exploded. And I used some very poor judgement in my choice of words. Moreover, I apologise profusely to everyone involved.
I just heard him put down the phone. If I shatter your neck, is it a threat?” In his video, Kerrion Franklin is heard saying. He captioned the photo with an extensive explanation of why he was quitting: No responsible father would ever say something like that to his kids.
Also, “I don’t think I’ll ever trust my father to be alone near him again,” he said. I really didn’t want to do it, and I hope my dad finds a way to overcome his animosity toward me. There’s no way I can trust him with my safety.
Kirk Franklin claims the family therapist he called to “attempt to help” was not included in the recording. Accusing his father of “mind games,” Kerrion Franklin said on Instagram on Sunday that he was the “only one that has phoned and tried to go to counselling.”
“I’m not perfect,” Kirk Franklin said at the end of his video. I’m trying my best, but I’m just human, so I know I’ll inevitably make some errors. Thank you in advance for praying for me and my loved ones.
Franklin married his longtime friend Tammy Collins on January 20, 1996. Each had one child from a prior relationship when they wed. Together, as a pair, they’ve managed to have two offspring.
Kerrion, Franklin’s eldest son, revealed an audio clip of a private discussion he had with his father in March 2021 in which they both used profanity. A sincere apology from Franklin to his many admirers.
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