Urban contemporary gospel king Kirk Franklin is his own best case study of music's ability to triumph over trauma. Born Kirk Mathis in Fort Worth, Texas, in , he was abandoned by both parents and raised by an aunt who recycled cans to pay for her four-year-old nephew's music lessons. The album crossed over to hit No. The impeccably funky "Stomp", from 's God's Property from Kirk Franklin's Nu Nation , parlayed a sample from Funkadelic's "One Nation Under a Groove" into a party jam for all occasions; the next year, he balanced pop-adjacent accessibility with the anti-racist gospel-rap of tracks like "Revolution".
With such phenomenal success, it is small wonder that some have hailed him as "the Garth Brooks of gospel. Abandoned by his mother and never having known his father, Franklin was reared by his Aunt Gertrude, a deeply religious woman who raised him as a strict Baptist. When he was four, she paid for his piano lessons by collecting aluminum cans. The lessons were money well spent, for Franklin was a natural musician who could sight read and play by ear with equal facility. At age 11, he was leading the Mt. Rose Baptist Church adult choir near Dallas. Despite, or because of, his church background, Franklin began rebelling in his teens and getting into trouble until one of his friends was accidentally shot and killed at age Realizing that he had chosen a bad road, Franklin returned to the fold and began composing songs, recording, and conducting.
Kirk Dewayne Franklin born January 26, is an American choir director , gospel musician , singer, songwriter, and author. He has won numerous awards, including 16 Grammy Awards. A native of Fort Worth, Texas , Franklin was raised by his aunt, Gertrude, having been abandoned as a baby by his mother. Kirk excelled and was able to read and write music while also playing by ear. At the age of seven, Franklin received his first contract which his aunt turned down. Rose Baptist Church adult choir at eleven years of age.
Follow Billboard. All rights reserved. After the death of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that have followed, Franklin and Hammond -- wearing coordinating "I Can't Breathe" and "I Can't Breathe Again" statement shirts -- went live with their uplifting music Sunday night May 31 on Instagram. Franklin also left fans looking forward to his new music video, which he said will drop Monday. From K people dead from Covid Lord knows we've seen too much darkness.