|Kirk Dewayne Franklin
|January 26, 1970
|American Choir Director, Gospel Musician,
Singer, Songwriter, Author
Kirk Franklin is an American gospel musician, choir director, and author. He rose to prominence in the 1990s performing with the group he founded. The group was Kirk Franklin and Family and their debut album sold more than a million copies. Kirk won multiple Grammy Awards and performs as a solo artist since 2000.
Born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1970, Kirk lived with his great aunt Gertrude. His mother abandoned him as a baby. So, Gertrude raised him as her own.
Career Ups and Downs
Kirk started his career in the early 1990s. Franklin redefined gospel music for a new generation with his band. Raised in a deeply religious household, Kirk rebelled in his teenage years. He left the church and got a baby with his girlfriend in his teenage years. And he got expelled from school.
Thankfully, his aunt noticed his talent early on. She did base jobs to raise money for Kirk’s piano lessons. That was even before he turned five years old. By the age of 7, Kirk got a couple of offers for his music. But his aunt insisted for him to stay with the church choir.
By 11, he was already a music director of the Mt. Rose Baptist Church adult choir. Fame came along with recklessness. He got his girlfriend pregnant at the age of 15. So, he left the church and quit music. But everything changed when his friend got killed in a horrific murder. Kirk went back to the church and choir singing.
In 1992, at the age of 22, Kirk founded his band Kirk Franklin and the Family. It was a 17-voice choir consisting of his friends and acquaintances. GospoCentrc signed them immediately. The Family released their first album in 1993 by the same name. And in 1995, they released Kirk Franklin and the Family Christmas. Their debut album was the first gospel album to sell more than a million copies.
In 2000, Kirk left the group. Members of the Family filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Franklin and GospoCentric records. They claimed Kirk and the label deprived them of royalties for the Nu Nation Project. The group split and Kirk continued as a solo artist.
In 2002, Kirk released his debut solo album The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin. It topped the Gospel Albums chart for 29 weeks. From there on, he released many more albums and singles, topping both albums and singles charts.
In 2013, he took his career to the next level. Kirk started his own record label imprint, Fo Yo Soul Recordings.
Net Worth, Earnings and Income
Kirk earns most of his money through his record sales. He released three albums with The Family band and six solo albums. He also has albums with Nu Nation and 1 Nation Crew.
Besides his record sales, Kirk earns money for his television work. He served as the host and co-executive producer of the BET original series Sunday Best. He is also the musical co-host of The American Bible Challenge with Jeff Foxworthy.
In 2013, he started his own record label in association with RCA Records. Called Fo Yo Soul Recordings, the label signed artists like The Walls Group and Tasha Page-Lockhart.
Awards and Achievements
Kirk’s debut album, Kirk Franklin & The Family, spent two years on the Gospel music charts. It stayed on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart for 42 weeks. This is also the first gospel music album to sell more than one million units.
In total, Kirk won 15 Grammy Awards. He earned 8 more nominations. He won his first Grammy for Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album in 1997 for Whatcha Lookin’4. Franklin also won multiple GME Dove Awards, BET Awards, Soul train Awards, and Stellar Awards.
Richest Gospel Musicians
Kirk Franklin fortune is $8.5 million as of June 2020. That makes him one of the richest gospel musicians in the world. Music grows and evolves over the years. Nowadays, gospel musicians earn a lot of money as well as rock musicians. Here are some of the richest gospel musicians, including Kirk Franklin.
- Yolanda Adams, the Queen of Contemporary Gospel Music sold more than 10 million albums worldwide. Her assets are over $5 million
- Michael W. Smith is one of the most talented piano players in the world of gospel music. He has assets of $4 million
- Kirk Franklin, the man who redefined gospel music in the 1990s, has assets of $8.5 million
- Erica and Tina Campbell have assets of $10 million each. They are not related
- The Clark sisters introduced a twist to the gospel music with their up-tempo beat. Dorinda Clark assets are over $7 million
- Tamela Mann started in Kirk Franklin and Family but continued as a solo artist. Her assets are $3 million
Kirk got married to his long-time friend Tammy Collins in 1996. Both had one child from their previous relationship at the time of their marriage. They have two children as a couple, their daughter Kennedy and their son Caziah.
In 2005, Kirk appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and talked about his pornography addiction. He managed to quit on that.
With a fortune of $8.5 million, Kirk can afford some luxury. He owns a 7,590 square-feet home in Veterans Park. The house comes with a gate with spiral columns forming a front entry carriage porch.