When it comes to mainstream gospel music, Kirk Franklin is easiest one of the biggest names in the business. For nearly 30 years, he has been sharing his musical talents with the world and honoring God in the process. Throughout the 1990s, his music was especially popular and he had several hit songs including “Stomp”. Although he has often been criticized for making music that sounds too secular, including a recent collaboration with rapper Lil Baby. However, Kirk has never let the negative opinions stop him from doing what he loves. Thanks to his music, countless people have become fans of gospel music who otherwise would never have gotten into the genre. Keep reading to learn 10 things you didn’t know about Kirk Franklin.
1. He’s Done Some Acting
Gospel music is probably the first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think of Kirk Franklin, but that isn’t the only thing he’s done. Over the years, Kirk has also had a few acting roles here and there. In 1998, he was in an episode of the popular sitcom Sister, Sister. He was also the voice of Reverand Haygood in an episode of The Proud Family.
2. He’s From Texas
Kirk Franklin was born in Texas, but where he was raised is a little unclear. Several sources have indicated that he was raised in the Dallas area, however, an article in The New Yorker reported that he lived in Chicago for six years and moved to New York (Harlem) when he was about 10 years old.
3. He Didn’t Have An Easy Upbringing
Regardless of where Kirk Franklin was raised, one thing is for sure – things in his life weren’t always easy. His mother abandoned him when he was young and he was adopted and raised by his aunt Gertrude. The family didn’t have much financially and Kirk also has a sister who struggled with drug addiction.
4. He Had The Chance To Work With Kanye West
Over the course of his music career, Kirk has gotten the chance to work with some of the biggest names in the music industry, and there’s another one he was almost able to add to the list. According to Rapzilla, Kanye West invited Kirk to help him produce a gospel album, but Franklin said the timing just wasn’t right.
5. He Doesn’t Like Award Shows
Kirk Franklin has won dozens of awards over the years, but award shows have never been his thing. He simply doesn’t enjoy the nature of celebrity culture as it relates to these kinds of shows. However, he’s still grateful for every chance he gets to walk on stage and accept an award.
6. He’s Not Shy About Speaking Up
Kirk’s faith in God isn’t the only thing he’s been open about over the years. He has also made it a point to use his platform to speak out on the things that are important to him. Kirk has highlighted several issues including racism and police brutality in the United States. He has also addressed issues in other parts of the world such as India and Nigeria.
7. He’s Struggled With A Porn Addiction
Just because Kirk is a man of God doesn’t mean there aren’t times in his life where he’s fallen short. One of the things he struggled with over the years was an addiction to porn. During an interview with CBN, Kirk said, “I was doing albums, albums that people were getting blessed by, and I was struggling with pornography. ‘Why We Sing’ came out in ’93, and I was struggling with pornography. ‘Stomp’ came out in ’97, and I was struggling with pornography. These albums God was speaking through and everyone was getting their victory except for me. I used to question and almost began to wonder, ‘What’s going on?’”
8. He Hosts A Podcast
Music is no longer the only way that Kirk Franklin likes to share his ministry with the world. He now has a podcast called Good Words with Kirk Franklin. His show features a wide variety of guests including other celebrities. During the show, Kirk and his guests discuss a range of topics including current events and religion.
9. He Was A Teen Parent
Kirk Franklin is the proud father of three children, the first of which he has when he was just 18 years old. As we all know, having children at a young age can be very challenging, and Kirk was faced with lots of obstacles when he first became a father. Unfortunately, his relationship with his oldest son has suffered greatly because of it.
10. The Death Of A Friend Brought Him Closer To God
Even though Kirk was raised in the church, there was a time in his life when he sort of strayed from God. However, when he was 15 years old, he saw one of his friends get shot and killed and he knew it was time for a change. It was that event that sent Kirk down the path of building a new relationship with God and religion.