Born on 26 January 1960 in Fort Worth, Texas, Kirk Franklin is an American singer-songwriter who performs Christian hip-hop and contemporary gospel songs and has had great chart success with 22 Grammy nominations and 12 wins. He first gained attention with the Kirk Franklin & The Family choir in the early 1990s, enjoying chart success and celebrating Grammy nominations with one win before embarking on a solo career in 2001. He had learned to read, write and play music as an infant and he sang in a local church choir. He studied music in high school where he played the piano for the choir. He had a stint with the Humble Hearts gospel group and aged 20, he led the choir at the Gospel Music Workshop of America Convention. After he left Kirk Franklin & The Family, he released God's Property with the Nu Nation Project, which reached number one on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Top Gospel Albums charts and number three on the Billboard 200. He followed that with The Nu Nation Project (1998), which went to number one on Billboard's Top Christian Albums Chart, number four on the R&B/Hip-Hop Chart and number seven on the 200. He made his solo debut in 2002 with The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin, which topped the Christian and R&B/Hip-Hop charts and reached number four on the 200. Hero (2005) topped the Christian Chart, hit number four on the R&B/Hip-Hop Chart and went to number 13 on the 200, Songs from the Storm, Vol. 1 (2006) peaked at number four on the Christian Chart and number nine on the R&B/Hip-Hop Chart and The Fight of My Life (2008) went to number one on the Christian Chart and number nine on the R&B/Hip-Hop Chart. More records followed including Hello Fear, Losing My Religion (2015) and The Essential Kirk Franklin (2018). His 12th studio album Long, Live, Love arrived in 2019 and picked up two Grammys at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards: Best Gospel Album and Best Gospel Song for "Love Theory." He returned four years later with his 13th studio album Father's Day, which charted in the US Billboard 200 at the time of its release in October 2023.