Kirk Dwayne Franklin (born January 26, 1970) – a native of Fort Worth, Texas, Franklin was raised by his great aunt Gertrude, having been abandoned as a baby by his mother. Gertrude collected and resold aluminum cans to raise money for Kirk to take piano lessons from the age of 4. Kirk excelled in music, able to read and write music by ear.
He received his first contract offer at the age of seven, which his aunt turned down. He joined the church choir and became music director of the Mt. Rose Baptist Church adult choir at the age of eleven.