Kirk Franklin (born January 26, 1970) is an American, gospel musician, choir director, and author. He is known for leading urban contemporary gospel choirs such as The Family, God's Property and One Nation Crew (1NC), and has won multiple awards, including seven Grammy Awards. A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Franklin was raised by his grandmother, 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 play 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 Adventist Church adult choir at the age of eleven. 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. After the shooting death of a friend, Franklin returned to the church, where he began to direct the choir once again. He also co-founded a gospel group, The Humble Hearts, which recorded one of Franklin's compositions and got the attention of gospel music legend Milton Biggham. Impressed, Biggham enlisted him to lead the DFW Mass Choir in a recording of Franklin's song "Every Day with Jesus." This led to Biggham hiring Franklin, just 20 years old at the time, to lead the choir at the 1990 Gospel Music Workshop of America Convention, a major industry gathering,
On January 20, 1996, Franklin married long-time friend Tammy Collins. When they wed, they each had one child from previous relationships: Kirk's son Kerrion, born in 1988, and Tammy's daughter Carrington, born in 1989 As a couple, they have two children: Kennedy, born in 1997, and Caziah, born in 2000.
In 2005, Franklin appeared with his wife on "The Oprah Winfrey Show to discuss his addiction to and deliverance from pornography