The American singer-songwriter known as Brian McKnight originally hails from Buffalo, New York, and is best known for his vocal range through his musical performances. In addition to his prominent musical career, McKnight is also an accomplished actor, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. Inspired after his brother, Claude McKnight III, and his gospel band, Take 6, signed a record deal in 1990, Brian brought forth his own demo recordings that lead him to a contract with Mercury Records as an R&B singer. On June 23, 1992, his self-titled debut album was released, and has since earned the Recording Industry Association of America’s Platinum Certification for having over one million copies sold. From there, McKnight recorded and released the 1995 album (I Remember You), which has since become certified Gold, and the 1997 album (Anytime) which has since earned double Platinum Certification. When McKnight’s contract ended with Mercury Records, he signed with Motown Records. Through their label, he recorded and released five additional studio albums between 1998 and 2005. The most successful album (Back at One) was released on September 21, 1999, and has since achieved triple Platinum Certification from the RIAA, as well as Platinum from Music Canada. In total, Brian McKnight’s discography has recorded and released sixteen studio albums, a live album, six compilation albums, two Christmas albums, and forty singles.
10. Hold Me (featuring Tone and Kobe Bryant)
Coming from the 1997 album, (Anytime), is the single, (Hold Me), which features performances from Tone and basketball legend, Kobe Bryant. One of the most recognized songs recorded and released by McKnight, Hold Me earned over three million YouTube views, as well as the chart rank of twelve on the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in 1998. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it charted at thirty-five.
9. The Only One For Me
The ballad (The Only One For Me) never did achieve a chart rank as a single, but has earned well over twenty-five million views on YouTube, making this one of McKnight’s most beloved songs coming from his discographic portfolio. Coming from his album, (Anytime), The Only One For Me adds yet another reason why it became the most commercially successful with well over three million copies sold worldwide.
8. Crazy Love
On the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, the single, (Crazy Love), peaked at number twelve in 1995. Coming from the album, (I Remember You), the song was originally recorded and released by Van Morrison in 1970 from his album, (Moondance). McKnight’s cover version also appears on the US Billboard Hot 100, which peaked at forty-five. Since its original release and the long list of artists that have covered that song since only McKnight’s performance has earned Crazy Love a chart rank on North American soil.
(Win) is part of the soundtrack for the Hollywood blockbuster movie, (Men of Honor), which hit the box office in the year 2000. McKnight’s performance of the song earned a nomination for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media during the 2001 Grammy Awards ceremony, but not the win as that went to John Flansburgh and John Linnell for (Boss of Me), which was featured on the series (Malcolm in the Middle).
6. Love of My Life
The lead single from McKnight’s 2001 album, (Superhero), is (Love of My Life), which peaked at number eleven on the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The album itself became certified Gold by the RIAA for having over 500,000 copies sold since its August 28th release. During the third season of the television series, The Parkers, there is an episode featuring a cameo appearance of Brian McKnight helping a wannabe love interest of the show’s lead character, Nikki Parker (played by actress Mo’Nique), as the song Love of My Life is lip-synced.
The 1999 awards ceremonies of the Soul Train Music Awards recognize the lead single from the album, (Anytime), as the best R&B/Soul Single, Male. This is one of two music awards Brian McKnight has earned for himself despite the numerous nominations he’s received throughout his professional music career. On the music charts, it peaked at twentieth on the Canadian Singles Chart, as well as forty-eight on the UK Singles Chart.
4. You Should Be Mine (Don’t Waste Your Time) (featuring Mase)
Coming from the album, (Anytime), which was released on September 23, 1997, is the duo performance between McKnight and rapping artist Mase of the single (You Should Be Mine (Don’t Waste Your Time)), The single peaked at number four with the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and at seventeenth on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. So far, over 600,000 copies of this song have been sold, which has been the most commercially successful track that’s been released from the doubled Platinum-certified album.
3. One Last Cry
1993’s single, (One Last Cry), comes from Brian McKnight’s self-titled album and is the third song from it that would find a spot on the music charts. On the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, it ranked eighth while on the US Billboard Hot 100 at thirteenth. One Last Cry is also McKnight’s first solo hit that appeared on the Hot 100 list.
2. Love Is (with Vanessa Williams)
Performed as a duet with Vanessa Williams in 1993, the single (Love Is) first appears on the Beverly Hills 90210 soundtrack and was later used for the spinoff series, Melrose Place. The exposure earned the song third place on the US Billboard Hot 100 music chart and on the Canadian Singles Chart. It was nominated in 1994 at the Grammy Awards for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, but the win went to Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle for their performance of (A Whole New World).
1. Back at One
Released as the lead single for McKnight’s album (Back at One), in 1999, the single with the same name has proven to be his most commercially successful to date. On the music charts, it ranked as high as second on the US Billboard Hot 100, and fourth with the Canadian Singles Chart. On the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, it peaked at seventh. At the 2000 NAACP awards, Back at One earned McKnight the win for Outstanding Male Artist. The song also achieved RIAA’s Gold Certification