He has changed the world of gospel music when he came on the scene with The Family in the 90’s and he has reached new heights now only with his music but in other arenas as well…The Praise 1300am Family is shining the birthday spotlight on Kirk Franklin!!!
A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Franklin was raised by his aunt, Gertrude, having been abandoned as a baby by his mother. Gertrude collected and resold aluminum cans to raise money for Kirk to take piano lessons from the age of four. Kirk excelled in music, being able to read and write music, while also playing by ear.
He received his first contract offer at the age of seven, which his aunt turned down. He joined the church choir and became music director of the Mt. Rose Baptist Church adult choir at the age of twelve
Despite his strict religious upbringing, Franklin rebelled in his teenage years, and in an attempt to keep him out of trouble, his grandmother arranged an audition for him at a professional youth conservatory associated with a local university. He was accepted and, while his life seemed to be on track for a while, the announcement of a girlfriend’s pregnancy and his eventual expulsion from school for behavioral problems proved otherwise.
Kirk Franklin studied music with Jewell Kelly and the Singing Chaparrals at Oscar Dean Wyatt High School. He was under her tutelage for music direction as she allowed him to be the pianist for the choir.
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