Living In The Spotlight Featuring Kirk Franklin

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(Photo: RCA)

Living In The Spotlight Featuring Kirk Franklin

Learn more about Kirk Franklin, the gospel revolutionary!

Published October 23, 2017

  1. Get To Know: Kirk Franklin
    Handout from Edward Coutain [mailto:edward@coutain.com] candice.grevious@staff.bet.com photo editor: mimi klasson (Photo: Courtesy of Kirk Franklin)
    (Photo: Courtesy of Kirk Franklin)

    Abandoned at an early age by his mother, Kirk grew up quicker than most kids his age and had very little direction. 

    Kirk was adopted by his mother's great aunt Gertrude when he was young. Thankfully, her guidance helped push Franklin into a better direction. But it was when he was introduced to Pastor Tony Evans of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas that Kirk was able to realize his life could be so much more. 

  2. Making It To the Spotlight
    Singer Kirk Franklin and wife Tammy Collins attend the 29th Annual NAACP Image Awards on February 14, 1998 at Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
    (Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)

    Kirk Franklin's upbringing in a Southern Baptist home in Dallas, where he formed a youth choir called God’s Property, comprised mostly of students and alumni of a Dallas performing arts high school. He recorded his album with God's Property in 1996 and the group took off like never before! Their gospel sound was heavily influenced by hip-hop and R&B. Franklin embraced the transformative sound and made a gospel style all his own.

  3. Debut Single
    THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 1504 -- Pictured: Musical guest Kirk Franklin performs on December 7, 1998 -- (Photo by: Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
    (Photo: Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

    From his first album, Kirk Franklin & The Family, Kirk released "Why We Sing." The song peaked at No. 9 on the Hot 100 and remained on the chart for 26 weeks.

  4. Coolest Connection
    Kirk Franklin and Kanye West (Photo by Jemal Countess/WireImage)
    (Photo: Jemal Countess/WireImage)

    Kanye and Kirk Franklin linked up when Fonzworth Bentley put out a call to Kirk while Kanye was working on his The Life of Pablo album. The album features Kanye's hit track "Ultralight Beam," on which Chance the Rapper and Kirk Franklin are featured guests, bringing the perfect balance of gospel vocals and-hip hop edge.

  5. Best Collaboration

    In 1998, Kirk Franklin put together an iconic collaboration with the song "Lean On Me," featuring R&B/hip-hop hitmakers Mary J. Blige, R. Kelly, The Family, Bono and Crystal Lewis. The single earned Franklin three Grammy noms for Song of the Year, Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group and Best Rhythm & Blues Song. 

  6. Exclusive Info
    LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12:  Musician Kirk Franklin poses backstage at the Premiere Ceremony during the 59th GRAMMY Awards at Microsoft Theater on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Randy Shropshire/WireImage)
    (Photo: Randy Shropshire/WireImage)
    LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 15: Recording artist Kirk Franklin, winner of Best Gospel/Performance Song for 'Wanna Be Happy?', accepts award onstage during the GRAMMY Pre-Telecast at The 58th GRAMMY Awards at Microsoft Theater on February 15, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage)
    (Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage)

    Fun fact: Kirk Franklin earned 12 Grammys and currently has 22 Grammy nominations. 

    Now that's major!

Written by BET Staff

(Photo: Randy Shropshire/WireImage)

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