If all goes according to plan, US gospel musician, choir director and author Kirk Franklin will be performing in Barbados later this year.
The producers of the upcoming concert are currently awaiting final word as to whether they can go ahead and put the local wheels in motion to welcome this global icon.
Known for leading urban contemporary gospel choirs, such as The Family, God’s Property and One Nation Crew (1NC), 45-year-old Franklin has won multiple awards, including seven Grammys.
In 2001, Franklin ventured into new territory, scoring and producing the soundtrack for the film Kingdom Come. The soundtrack featured gospel artiste Mary Mary, Crystal Lewis, and 1NC, as well as secular artiste Az Yet, Jill Scott, Shawn Stockman of Boyz ll Men and others.
A notable song from the soundtrack was Thank You (Kirk Franklin feat. Mary Mary).
In 2002,The Rebirth of Franklin topped the gospel albums chart for 29 weeks, was number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, and was certified platinum. The album featured collaborations with Bishop T.D. Jakes, Shirley Caesar, Tobby Mac, Crystal Lewis, Jaci Velasquez, Papa San, Alvin Slaughter, and Yolanda Adams.
On October 4, 2005, Hero was released in the United States. The album was certified gold on December 2, 2005 and platinum on December 14, 2006 by the Recording Industry Association of America.
It made number one on both the Billboard Top Christian and Top Gospel Albums. The first single, Looking For You, was a hit, as was the follow-up Imagine Me , which made it onto the R&B Charts.
In December 2006, Franklin won two 2007 Grammy Awards for Hero. Additionally, the album was the 2007 Stellar Awards CD of the Year
His 10th album, The Fight of My Life, was released in the United States on December 18, 2007. The album debuted on the Billboard 200 at number 33 with 74,000 copies sold in the first week.
It reached number one on both the Billboard Top Gospel and Top Christian Albums charts, and also peaked at number seven on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Chart.
The first single, Declaration (This Is It), was released on October 23, 2007 and peaked at number 35 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart.
The album features guest appearances from Rance Allen, Isaac Carree, Toby Mac, Da’ T.R.U.T.H., Dough Williams, and Melvin Williams.
The song Jesus was released as the album’s second single in 2008 and was sent to Urban AC Radio on July 15, 2008.
In January 2010 after Haiti was impacted by a devastating earthquake, Franklin got an ensemble of gospel artiste together to sing the song he wrote, called Are You Listening.
They included: Yolanda Adams, Jeremy Camp, Shirley Caesar, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Natalie Grant, Fred Hammond, Tamela Mann, David Mann, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin, Bishop Paul S. Morton, J. Moss, Smokie Norful, Marvin Sapp, Karen Clark-Sheard, Kierra Sheard, BeBe Winans, CeCe Winans, and Marvin Winans.
Franklin is the host and co-executive producer of the BET original series Sunday Best and the musical co-host of GSN’s The American Bible Challenge with Jeff Foxworth.
Franklin’s 11th studio album called Hello Fear was released on March 22, 2011.
In 2013, Franklin started his own record label imprint, Fo Yo Soul Recordings, which is in association with RCA Records, and he has signed acts such as The Walls Group and artiste like Tasha Page-Lockhart.
These two artistes received 10 Stellar Awards nominations at the 30th Stellar Awards.
The Walls Group won seven awards, while Page-Lockhart won three of her own, and Franklin won two more for his label.
On January 20, 1996, Franklin married long-time friend Tammy Collins.
In 2005, Franklin appeared with his wife on The Oprah Winfrey Show to discuss how he ended his pornography addiction.
In 1992, he organized The Family, which was a 17-voice choir, formed from neighborhood friends and associates.
In 1992, Vicki Mack-Lataillade, the co-founder of fledgling record label Gospo Centric, heard one of their demo tapes and was so impressed she immediately signed up Kirk & The Family to a recording contract.
In 1993, the group, now known as Kirk Franklin & The Family, released their debut album. It spent almost two years on the gospel music charts and on the R&B charts, eventually earning platinum sales status. It remained at number one on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart for 42 weeks. It was the first gospel music album to sell over a million units.