Multi-Platinum Artist Kirk Franklin Inspiring Others to Dream Big in Arlington
By Ryan Hunt
Posted on February 13, 2018, February 13, 2018

As one of the biggest stars in contemporary gospel music today, multi-platinum artist Kirk Franklin continues to inspire others to dream big in Arlington, Texas and throughout the country.

His debut album, 1993 's Kirk Franklin & the Family, spent 100 weeks on the gospel charts and became the first gospel debut album to go platinum.

A devout Christian, Franklin has overcome many struggles in his life to be able to live his American Dream. Born in Fort Worth to a teenage mother, he never knew his father and was adopted at 4-years old by his great-aunt Gertrude, who raised him.

"It was that love that she showed me and that love of God and the love of music that all became the score to my narrative, ' Franklin said.

A turning point in his life also came at age 15, when his close friend was accidentally shot and killed.

"That was a major, major shift in my life, ' Franklin said. "And it was a major shift in my music. Because my music started to grow and people started to pay attention. '

Franklin, who has won 12 Grammy awards, formed his own label in 2015, known as Fo Yo Soul Entertainment. In the summer of 2017, he completed the transformation of a vacant furniture warehouse in Downtown Arlington into a $2 million, state-of-the-art recording studio. The gospel star is also a long-time Arlington resident and gave MyArlingtonTV a tour of Fo Yo Soul last year.

"I love the people here, I love the spirit here, I love the energy here and I just fell in love, ' Franklin said. "I fell in love with being able to leave New York, leave LA and to be able to come to a place where it 's home. '

Kirk married his wife Tammy in 1996 and they have had two children together, a daughter named Kennedy and a son named Caziah. They also inherited two kids from previous relationships, Kirk 's son Kerrion and Tammy 's daughter Carrington. Franklin is impressed by the schools here in Arlington.

"The education that my kids have gotten here can compete with any level of education all over the world, ' Franklin said. "It is a place that can equip my kids to be able to do whatever they want to do. '

In 2016, the Texas Commission on the Arts designated Downtown Arlington as one of only seven new cultural districts in the state. Franklin sees a momentum building with the music scene in The American Dream City.

"The music and the arts that have the potential of coming out of this city are going to really be able to make some noise, ' Franklin said.

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