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Kanye West, Dave Chapelle, Chance, Ken Bennett, and Kirk Franklin .(Photo by Duke Images)

Kirk Franklin is one of the most iconic gospel artists of all time.

LIVE with gospel legend Kirk FranklinWere LIVE with gospel legend Kirk Franklin!2020-10-08T23:27:26Z

One of the biggest selling Gospel artist in sound scan history, Franklin has sold over 10 million albums and was the first Gospel Artist to have a music video on MTV.

A sixteen-time Grammy Award Winner, Franklin bridged the gap between Gospel, R&B and Hip-Hop while staying true to the foundational message of his Christian faith.

He and “The Family”, a seventeen-voice choir, released their Kirk Franklin & The Family album, the first gospel music album to sell over a million units. Since then Franklin has dropped hits with other groups like God’s Property and One Nation Crew.

A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Franklin will be part of a lineup of 20 chart-topping artists who are performing in the biggest 14th Annual McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the tour is virtual for the first time in its history and broadcasts on BET’s YouTube channel. With two of the four virtual stops completed, the 4-part concert series has been viewed nearly 150,000 times and counting.

This year’s tour is themed “Gospel City Playlists” and celebrates the rich musicality and artistry of U.S. cities well known for their gospel roots: Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit and Dallas. More info can be found here.

Representing Dallas, Franklin will close out the virtual tour tomorrow and will share the stage with fellow gospel singers Fred Hammond, Myron Butler and Marvin Sapp.

While appearing on the Heavy Live With Scoop B Show ahead of his appearance on the McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour, Franklin and I discussed the state of Gospel music, faith and Kanye West’s Sunday Service.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 26: Kirk Franklin accepts the Best Gospel Album award for “Long, Live, Love” onstage during the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony at Microsoft Theater on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Check out snippets from our dialogue below: 

Kirk Franklin’s thoughts on Kanye West and Sunday Service:

“Yeah. You know, I have been honored to have moments where I’ve been blessed to do live with Kanye and I think that Sunday Service and his engagement has been very therapeutic for him. I think it’s been a very powerful moment in his life and I think that’s what gospel music is for anybody; you know? I think everybody should find themselves a Sunday Service. As I was a part of the Sunday Service when Kobe died when I was in L.A. and they asked me to come out. And so yes, I was a part of that one but yeah… I think anytime a commutative people get together and wants to talk about the bigness and the greatness of God, that’s dope.”

Kirk Franklin’s thoughts on Kanye West’s place among the greats:

“He’s a PHENOMENAL talent. Him; Pharrell… I think Timbaland is a great talent; I think there has been some phenomenal talent. I think Jay is a great talent, Lauryn Hill is a great talent, Wyclef [Jean] is a great talent; I mean but, Michael [Jackson] and Prince are great talents. Max Martin is a talented producer… I mean, I think there’s some really, really great talented people that are in this medium and they ALL should be celebrated. I think that music is a very powerful medium and that the microphone can be weaponized or it can be a healing balm.

Kirk Franklin weighs in on albums he wished he could’ve done over again or beats that he would have loved to have gotten his hands on:

“That I could’ve done over? I don’t [know of] albums that I could’ve done over. But, I wish that God would’ve been nice enough to let me have Jesus Walks (by Kanye West) [laughs]. I think that’s a bangin’ song and I think that’s a smash! So you know, that’s a joint; I wished that maybe I originally had the track – the All About the Benjamins (by Puff Daddy and the Family feat. the Notorious BIG) track. I would’ve taken that track and did something with that like, revolutionary. Or Q-Tip’s Vivrant Thing track, you know? So you know, there are tracks that you hear while you’re on your journey and you’re like… but outside of that matter, I’m grateful for what God has let me borrow.”

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Wendell Pierce to play blues legend B.B. King in biopic

This is Bidens shortest path to the White House Cowboys lose four-time All-Pro offensive guard Zack Martin in latest injury hit to offense Wendell Pierce to play blues legend B.B. King in biopic © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Getty Images (2)

Wendell Pierce has officially got the blues.

The actor, known for his performances in The Wire and Treme, announced he will be portraying legendary artist B.B. King in a new film.

"We are official. Preparation has begun on a film where I will be honored to play the great, BB King. Humbled.," Pierce tweeted Monday.

We are official. Preparation has begun on a film where I will be honored to play the great, BB King. Humbled.

— Wendell Pierce (@WendellPierce) October 19, 2020

Fans are already praising the casting, citing the duo's resemblance and the actor's acclaimed body of work.

"An icon playing an icon. I can’t to watch you and BB shine together, my friend. Sending so much love to you and this production," actor Jimmi Simpson tweeted.

Musician Tank responded to the news with, "WOW!!!!... You are absolutely the artist to paint this colossal cathedral!!"

The Thrill Is On, titled after King's famous cover of the same name, is a drama centered on the friendship between King and young musician Michael Zanetis, according to IMDb, The script is being written by Zanetis and Melora Donoghue. No other casting has been revealed.

EW has reached out to representatives for Pierce for additional information.

King, who died in 2015 at age 89, has remained one of the most influential and respected blues musicians of all time. With a recording career spanning nearly six decades, King released over 40 studio albums and 16 live albums, won 15 Grammys and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

Pierce has been a fixture for decades on television, film, and the stage, and some fans are already hoping The Thrill Is On will finally earn the actor major awards attention, like Ray did for Jamie Foxx (coincidentally, Pierce also appeared in the biopic).

The actor is best known for portraying Bunk Moreland in HBO's The Wire and Antoine Batiste in Treme, also from the network. Pierce has also acted in films like Malcolm X and Selma, shows like Suits and Ray Donovan, and recently starred in Chicago P.D. and the John Krasinski-led Jack Ryan series. Last year, he held the lead role of Willy Loman in the West End's production of Death of a Salesman.

© Getty Images (2) Wendell Pierce known for his performances in 'The Wire' and 'Treme,' announced he will be portraying legendary artist B.B. King in a new film.

Pierce has a challenge ahead of him, although music has long been a part of his career. To portray a trombonist in Treme, he learned to play the instrument. He also hosted a weekly jazz radio show when he was just starting out, and in 2009, he became the host of the Peabody Award-winning radio program, Jazz at Lincoln Center. In past years, Pierce has also appeared on jazz albums and recorded with acclaimed musicians such as Wynton Marsalis and Kermit Ruffins.

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