Gospel star Franklin, fans in "Fight" club
By Deborah Evans Price
NASHVILLE (Billboard) - Kirk Franklin has forged a successful career creating cutting-edge gospel music that hits his audiences where they live. He does so again on "The Fight of My Life," due in stores December 18.
Franklin says the album's title sums up the way a lot of people are feeling.
"A lot of people are trying to stay above water. People are fighting for their peace of mind and to keep their homes from being foreclosed or fighting for their children," the five-time Grammy-winner says. "I want people to know they aren't in it by themselves."
"The Fight of My Life" is Franklin's second release on his own Fo Yo Soul imprint, which is marketed and distributed via a partnership with Zomba Gospel.
Franklin has also won 13 Gospel Music Assn. Dove Awards, most recently for "Imagine Me," from his 2005 album "Hero." That effort has shifted 909,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
For "The Fight of My Life," he enlisted guest turns from gospel music pioneer Rance Allen, Da' T.R.U.T.H., Donovan Owens and the Williams Brothers. Franklin also teamed with singer/songwriter TobyMac for "I Am God," which they recorded in Nashville.
"When black people play rock music, it sounds like black rock," he says. "And what I wanted to do is have it sound very authentic. That's why I used Toby's band. We had it all (done) in a day."
Franklin believes the tune "Help Me Believe" will make an impact. Continued...