FRANKLIN, Kirk Dewayne. b. Fort Worth, Texas, 26 January 1970. Kirk Franklin is a contemporary artist and composer who has been dubbed the ‘reigning king of urban gospel music’ (Jackson, 2003, n.p.). Viewed as an iconoclast in the popular sacred music industry, Franklin often composes songs with a radical social theme within a genre whose audience is mostly conservative and seeking a positive, uplifting message. Various online sources indicate that his musical education began with piano lessons at age four through the efforts of his Aunt Gertrude, who raised him after being abandoned by his parents. At age seven, Franklin was offered a recording contract, but his aunt rejected the offer...
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