Kirk Franklin: The Rebirth of a Gospel Legend
Kirk Franklin is one of the most influential and successful gospel artists of all time. He has won multiple Grammy Awards, sold millions of albums, and collaborated with some of the biggest names in music. But his journey was not always easy. He faced many challenges and struggles along the way, and he had to overcome them with faith and perseverance. In this article, we will explore his remarkable story and his groundbreaking album, The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin.
The Early Years
Kirk Franklin was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on January 26, 1970. He was abandoned by his mother and never knew his father. He was raised by his aunt, Gertrude Franklin, who was a devout Christian and a strict disciplinarian. She recognized his musical talent at an early age and enrolled him in piano lessons when he was four years old. She also encouraged him to join the church choir and participate in local gospel competitions.
However, Franklin also faced many temptations and troubles as a teenager. He became rebellious and started hanging out with the wrong crowd. He got involved in drugs, gangs, and crime. He also became a father at 15 years old. He felt lost and hopeless, until he had a near-fatal gunshot wound that changed his life. He realized that God had spared him for a purpose, and he decided to dedicate his life to serving Him.
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The Rise to Fame
Franklin began his musical career as a choir director at various churches in Texas. He also formed his own group, The Humble Hearts, which caught the attention of gospel legend Milton Biggham. Biggham invited Franklin to lead the DFW Mass Choir at a recording session in 1990. The session resulted in Franklin's first album, Kirk Franklin & The Family, which was released in 1993 by GospoCentric Records.
The album was a huge success, selling over a million copies and becoming the first gospel album to top the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart. It also spawned several hit singles, such as \"Why We Sing\", \"He's Able\", and \"Silver and Gold\". Franklin's fresh and innovative style of blending traditional gospel with contemporary R&B, hip-hop, and pop appealed to a wide audience of both young and old listeners.
Franklin followed up with more albums that achieved similar acclaim and popularity, such as Kirk Franklin & The Family Christmas (1994), Whatcha Lookin' 4 (1996), God's Property (1997), The Nu Nation Project (1998), and Kirk Franklin Presents 1NC (2000). He also collaborated with many mainstream artists, such as Mary J. Blige, R. Kelly, Bono, Crystal Lewis, Jaci Velasquez, Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams, TobyMac, and more.
The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin
In 2002, Franklin released his seventh album, The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin. The album was his first solo project without any backing vocalists or groups. It was also his most personal and intimate album to date, as he shared his testimony of how God had transformed his life from darkness to light.
The album was recorded live at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, on June 16th, 2000. It featured guest appearances by Shirley Caesar , Bishop T.D. Jakes , Richard Smallwood , Papa San , Willie Neal Johnson , Alvin Slaughter , and more. It also included a bonus track called \"Throw Yo Hands Up\", which featured TobyMac and was featured in the Xbox game Project Gotham Racing.
The album was a critical and commercial success, earning rave reviews from critics and fans alike. It debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 chart and number one on the Top Gospel Albums chart. It also won two Grammy Awards for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album and Best Gospel Performance for \"He Reigns (The Medley)\". It also won four Stellar Awards for Artist of the Year , CD of the Year , Producer of the Year , and Contemporary CD of the Year .
The album contained many songs that became classics in Franklin's repertoire, such as \"Hosanna\", \"Caught Up 29c81ba772