Kirk Franklin is an American gospel singer, songwriter, music director, and writer. With 12 Grammy Awards to his name, over 20 number 1 hits, and well over 10 million albums sold, Kirk Franklin is undoubtedly one of the most notable gospel artists of his generation.
The gospel music genius is adjudged by many to be the “Reigning King of Urban Gospel”. Here are the facts you’ve always wanted to know about his personal life.
Early Life and Rise to Fame
Kirk Dewayne Franklin was born on January 26, 1970, in Fort Worth, Texas. His musical talents manifested from a tender age and at the age of 4, he got enrolled for piano classes. Franklin also sang in his church choir and became the church’s choir director at the age of 12.
Despite the fact that he was ‘raised in church’, Franklin was a very rebellious teenager and as a result, he got expelled from school. He later completed his high school education at Oscar Dean Wyatt High School in Fort Worth, Texas. Broken by the shooting of a close friend, Franklin returned to church and rejoined his church choir. He also recorded a few songs with a gospel group which he co-founded. Kirk Franklin eventually caught the attention of music icon Rev. Milton Biggham who recruited him to direct the choir at the 1990 Gospel Music Workshop of America Convention.
In 1992, Kirk Franklin landed his first contract alongside his 17-man choir ‘The Family’. The group’s debut studio album Kirk Franklin & The Family (1993) was a major hit; it reached platinum status and spent 42 weeks atop Billboard Gospel Albums chart. This was swiftly followed by Kirk Franklin & the Family Christmas (1995) and Whatcha Lookin’ 4 (1996) for which Franklin scored his first Grammy win.
He earned a second Grammy for the collaborative work God’s Property from Kirk Franklin’s Nu Nation alongside the gospel choir ‘God’s Property’. His third came from The Nu Nation Project which topped Billboard charts for several weeks. In 2000, Kirk Franklin fell out with other members of ‘The Family’ choir following a lawsuit regarding royalties and this signaled the beginning of his solo career.
In 2001, Kirk worked on the soundtrack for the box-office hit film Kingdom Come. The following year, the talented singer released the album The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin which topped album charts for several weeks. Kirk’s 2005 platinum-certified album Hero earned him 2 Grammy Awards his 10th studio album The Fight of My Life was released in December 2007.
Kirk Franklin also featured in the gospel music reality series Sunday Best (2007-2009) as well as Bible-themed game show The American Bible Challenge (2013-14).
Kirk Franklin Family – Wife, Kids, and Brothers
Kirk Franklin is currently married to his long-term lover and best friend Tammy Franklin (Collins). The duo met in the early 90s when Franklin was just starting off his career. Tammy was also a singer at that time; so, she moved to Minneapolis to start off her own career. The separation had a strain on their relationship and for several years they remained estranged. However, they got back together in March 1995 and the following year, Tammy returned to Dallas, Texas for their wedding. They eventually tied the knot on January 20, 1996.
At the time of their wedding, both Franklin and his wife had one child each from previous relationships; Kirk’s son Kerrion (born 1988) and Tammy’s daughter Carrington (born 1989). They went on to have 2 children together, daughter Kennedy (born 1997) and son Caziah (born 2000).
Born to a single teenage mother, Kirk Franklin never got to know his biological father. His mother also left him, leaving the young Franklin to be raised by his great-aunt Gertrude. Kirk Franklin grew up alongside a half-sister and according to the records available to us, he had no other siblings.
His great-aunt Gertrude worked several odd jobs to nurture the musical talents of her little boy wonder. Franklin’s mother later reunited with her kids, however, she remained a distant figure in their lives as she only visited a few times in a year.
Is He Gay?
Kirk Franklin’s career as an international gospel music icon currently spans over 2 decades. Within this period, he has been known to be in only one relationship, the one with his wife Tammy. Owing to his relatively simple relationship history, one can assume that Kirk Franklin is not gay. In addition to that, the gospel singer has never made any suggestion hinting at him being attracted to his own gender.
However, Franklin is supportive of the LGBT community. In 2015, he offered an apology to people of the LGBT community for the unfair treatment they generally receive in Black churches.
Kirk Franklin’s Height
Great gifts indeed come in small packages. Kirk Franklin sports a physique which is at variance to his grand personality. The international gospel music icon stands at a height of 5 feet 4 inches (165 cm).