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Kirk Franklin may be the best known gospel artist outside of gospel music, due to his high profile and willingness to bring contemporary sounds to spiritual music.

Franklin, gifted with musical talent from a young age, literally grew up in the church. His talent was recognized and nurtured early on, and by the time he was a young man, he was well on his way to stardom. His first group, Kirk Franklin and the Family, ushered in the modern era of gospel music by becoming the first act in the genre to sell over a million copies.

Among other accolades, Franklin has won seven Grammy Awards and an astounding 35 Stellar Awards in his career. His 12 album, “Hello Fear,” came out in March.

Here’s more on the gospel icon, today’s In Studio Jam artist.

BORN: Kirk Dwayne Franklin in Ft. Worth, Texas.

BIG BREAK: Gospel artist Milton Bigham heard a song Franklin wrote with his group, The Humble Hearts, and asked him to conduct the choir for the 1990 Gospel Music Workshop of America convention. Franklin was just 20 years old at the time.

BACK STORY: Franklin is a musical prodigy who started taking piano lessons at age four. By the time he was 11, he was a choir director for the adult choir at the Mt. Rose Baptist Church.

RESUME: Franklin has worked with both secular and gospel artists over his lengthy career, to some controversy. He did “Stomp” with Cheryl “Salt” James of Salt N Pepa, which became a huge hit for God’s Property. In various projects, he’s worked with R. Kelly, Jill Scott, Mary J. Blige, Bono and more.

FUN FACT: Franklin is the host and the executive producer of the BET gospel competition show “Sunday Best.”