Gospel star Kirk Franklin has released a mini-documentary to go along with his new album, “Father’s Day,” and has revealed that he has finally found his birth father at 53 years old. In the documentary, he also shared details about his difficult childhood. Franklin was born to a teen mom who was unable to care for him at the time. He and his mother did not have a relationship during his youth. He was adopted at the age of 4 by a woman in his church, Gertrude, who was 64 at the time and had no other children. Franklin acknowledged that Gertrude did her best to raise him, paying for piano lessons, but that “By 12 or 13, I felt abandoned by her because I could tell I became more of an irritant. I wanted to date and go out, and I always felt like I was inconveniencing her. It just added to the feeling of displacement.”
The documentary began as a behind-the-scenes account of the making of his album, which is due to be released on October 6. However, during the time of filming, his aunt died. While Franklin did not attend the funeral due to his estranged relationship with his mother, who was present at the funeral, a man by the name of Richard Hubbard did attend and introduced himself to members of the family as someone who had dated Franklin’s mother. The news caused speculation that Hubbard might be Franklin’s birth father. What was most surprising to Franklin was that his mother had introduced him at the age of 6 to a different man by the name of Dwight Allen, claiming Allen was his real father. Allen died in 2020. “I didn’t see [Allen] again until I was 13, and then he started showing up at concerts after my first album came out. I was angry at the fact that I did not have a father, and he would dare show up once my life seemed to have some sense of order. Same for my biological mother,” said Franklin. He stated that neither Allen nor his mother had shown much interest in him until his career began taking off. “It was very traumatic for me,” he added.
While Franklin’s mother denied that Hubbard was his biological father, Hubbard offered to submit to a DNA test to put to rest any rumors. The results came back 99.9% certain that Hubbard was, in fact, Franklin’s biological father. Franklin was emotional during the documentary as he discussed the results. “This man is my father? My momma lied to me again?” he cried. Hubbard lives in the same neighborhood that Franklin grew up in, meaning his birth father had been close to him his whole life without him knowing it. “I suffered so much as a young man without guidance,” said Franklin. “I struggled with love, intimacy, faith, identity. And to know that the answer was less than 10 minutes away,” he lamented. After 23 years of not seeing his mother, Franklin confronted her about the results. However, she denied Hubbard was his father. A second DNA test came back with the same results.
The documentary showed Hubbard and Franklin’s emotional reunion, with Franklin not blaming his father, who never knew he had a son. Hubbard would have been around 14 or 15 when he fathered Franklin. He has a daughter as well. “He is a great guy,” Franklin said of Hubbard. He stated his new sister is getting used to the idea of having a brother, especially one as famous as Franklin. Despite furthering tensions between Franklin and his mother, who refuses to accept the DNA results, the journey encouraged Franklin to reconnect with his son, Kerrion Franklin. Kerrion, 35, made headlines two years ago when he released a heated phone call between himself and his father. Franklin made several profane remarks to his son, as well as several threats. “I will break your neck, [N-word]. Don’t you ever disrespect me,” he was recorded as saying, along with several other profanities. Franklin apologized to his fans after the recording was released. “Recently, my son and I had an argument that he chose to record. I felt extremely disrespected in that conversation, and I lost my temper. And I said words that were not appropriate. And I’m sincerely sorry to all of you,” he said at the time.
The two had not spoken in the two years during that time, although Kerrion did acknowledge his parents in 2022 after being released as a suspect in an alleged murder. The two were shown reuniting in the documentary. “My son is a beautiful soul. There are parts of his life that are his to share. I am just very proud that I’m seeing him in his own way,” Franklin said of Kerrion. He said he hoped Kerrion’s grandfather and himself would help Kerrion in finding his way. “I have fathered out of fear the majority of my parenting life,” he acknowledged. “I had to learn. My children have been the best part of my life.”