Kirk Franklin is a young minister who had forever changed Christian Music through his combination of contemporary hip-hop and traditional gospel music. Kirk was born and raised in Ft. Worth, Texas, where he was abandoned at the age of three by his parents and raised by a devout 64-year-old aunt, who always made sure he was in church on Sundays. Kirk began playing the piano at age 4, and was offered a recording contract when he was only 7! However, his aunt declined, thinking he was too young. At age 11, he was appointed music minister of his church. Finally, at age 19, Kirk did his first home recording. In 1992, he formed The Family, picking 17 singers. Kirk Franklin and the Family shot to the top of the Billboard Gospel charts. All of his CDs since then have done even better. Kirk Franklin’s groundbreaking style and sound has led a revolution among Gospel artists, with “Lean On Me” garnering a GRAMMY nomination for “Song of the Year,” an unprecedented honor for a Gospel artist. He is currently selling out venues across the country with his Hopeville Tour, where he shares the stage with fellow Gospel music luminaries Donnie McClurkin and Yolanda Adams.

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Nia Massey

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