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Kirk Franklin Biography

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Birth Name: Kirk D. Franklin
Born: 1970/01/26
Birth Place: Fort Worth, Texas, United States
Years Active: 1993-present
Genres: Christian Hip Hop, Gospel

Kirk Dwayne Franklin (born January 26, 1970) is an American Gospel music singer and author, and is most notably known as the leader of urban contemporary gospel choirs such as the Family, God's Property and 1NC (One Nation Crew).

In 1992, Franklin organized "The Family", which is a seventeen-voice choir, formed from neighborhood friends and associates. In 1993, the group, now known as "Kirk Franklin & The Family," released their debut album, "Kirk Franklin & The Family." It spent almost two years on the Gospel music charts and charted on the R&B charts, eventually earning platinum sales status. It remained at #1 on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart for 42 weeks. It was the first gospel music album to sell over a million units.

Two years later, after releasing a 1994 Christmas album entitled "Kirk Franklin & the Family Christmas," the group released "Whatcha Lookin' 4" in 1995. The album was certified 2x platinum and earned Franklin his first Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album. 1997 brought another album, a collaboration with the vocal ensemble God's Property, aptly named "God's Property from Kirk Franklin's Nu Nation." The lead single, "Stomp", charted at #1 on the R&B Singles Airplay chart for 2 weeks, even making it in to the Top 40. The album was #1 on the R&B Albums chart for 5 weeks, #3 on the Pop charts, and would go on to be certified 3x platinum. It also brought Franklin another Grammy for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album, as well as three Grammy nominations.

"The Nu Nation Project" was released in 1998 and went on to top the Billboard Contemporary Christian Albums chart for 23 weeks and the Billboard Gospel Albums chart for 49 weeks, and brought Franklin his third Grammy. 2002's "The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin" topped the Gospel Albums chart for 29 weeks, was #1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, and was certified Platinum. 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 #1 on both the Billboard Top Christian and Top Gospel albums. In December 2006, Kirk Franklin won two 2007 Grammy Awards for "Hero."

Kirk Franklin's 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 #33 with 74,000 copies sold in the first week. It reached #1 on both the Billboard Top Gospel and Top Christian albums charts, and also peaked at #7 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart.