Franklin's latest musical offering - and the 13th studio album - is the aptly titled LONG LIVE LOVE from his RCA-distributed label Fo Yo Soul Recordings. But even before the album's release date of May 31, her debut single is already laying some serious groundwork.
« Love theory bowed to No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Gospel Songs chart and kept the position locked for nine weeks. The vibrant track marked the singer's seventh No. 1 on the record and his second start to the top of the charts. With 1 million US streams in its first week by Nielsen Music, “ Love theory also opened at No. 1 on gospel streaming songs as well as gospel digital song sales. Her colorful and energetic video has racked up over 2,5 million YouTube views and counts.
"When people can see themselves as loved, no matter who or how they are, it gives them more capacity to love," Franklin explains; who is the inspiration of Love theory and the theme of the video. “It's my constant story about this message of love, God's love and me trying to play my part in this conversation. »
Other standout conversation starters on the 10-track LONG LIVE LOVE include the introspective “Just for Me,” the insightful “Father Knows Best,” and the warning “Idols.” As the very first song Franklin wrote for the album, “Idols” is the album's hinge. It addresses the issue of people putting too much emphasis on things like their career, body image, and money. Or on their service goodbye; it sometimes becomes more important than the man himself.
“We live in a time when so many things compete for the attention of our hearts,” Franklin says. “They don't all have to be bad, but these things can become what matters to us more than they should. The “idols” and all the songs on the album have appeared - a tapestry of what I believe, what I feel, what I want and my struggles. It's the good, the bad and the ugly. "
After selecting 50-60 song ideas, Franklin began collaborating with his fellowship of co-producers, Ron Hill, Shaun Martin, Max Stark and S1. His last album 2015 REM, influenced Losing My Religion (winner of the GRAMMY Award for best Gospel album in 2017). He bragged about inviting gospel and R&B artists including Kim Burrell, Lalah Hathaway, Tasha Cobbs and Tamela Mann. Franklin chose to let the music – a savory blend of gospel, R&B, hip-hop and other influences – play the lead role on LONG LIVE LOVE.
“The process on this album was unique,” Franklin says, “because I had literally written all of the songs before I started recording. This has never happened before. It allowed me to see lyrically and melodically if the music could be sufficient on its own without production. Often times I think popular music can depend too much on production. "
Celebrating his 26th career anniversary this year, the winner of over 40 Stellar Awards and 16 Dove Awards is also busy pushing the boundaries in other projects. Franklin took his GRAMMY total to 16 Grammys at this year's 61st annual ceremony in Tori Kelly's first foray into gospel, Franklin-produced Hiding Place won Best Gospel Album. “Never Alone,” the single Franklin co-wrote from the album, was named Best Gospel Performance / Song.
In 2020, Franklin has his sights set on another successful Exodus Music & Arts Festival, fantastic additions to the channel Kirk Franklin Praise on SiriusXM and the start of production of his bio-picture with Sony.
“You already know what I'm going to say,” Franklin replies with a warm laugh when asked the secret to his professional longevity and his tireless willingness to keep pushing. “It's because of someone bigger than me and you. I am the most imperfect person in the world. But to be able to be here again and communicate this faith that I believe in… I don't know what more to ask for. "