Kirk Franklin is opening up about the process that led to him meeting his biological father for the first time at the age of 53, and he’s bringing fans along with him for the emotional journey!
Kirk Franklin Bares All With His Fans In His Father’s Day Documentary
The “Melodies From Heaven” singer acknowledged the situation in a 35-minute YouTube video titled “Father’s Day: A Kirk Franklin Story,” which premiered on Friday (Sept. 15).
He shared that — at a family funeral in April 2023, which he didn’t attend — word got out about an attendee named Richard Hubbard previously dating Kirk’s biological mother. Rumors subsequently circulated that he may be Kirk’s biological father, prompting them to complete a DNA test.
Franklin noted that, since he’s been open and honest about being adopted, he’s had plenty of people claim to be his father, though this time was different.
“It wasn’t new to me. What was new to me is how close it was to somebody I knew.”
Ultimately, the test proved that they were related. While en route to meet his biological father, Kirk Franklin marveled at how close they’d been the entire time.
“This man lives down the street from my recording studio. He lives in the same city that I work in. His house is adjacent to a house that my youngest son would go play at when he was in high school.”
Once Richard learns the news, he immediately gets emotional, prompting Kirk to reassure him by sharing, “It’s not your fault. You didn’t know.”
In a confessional, Kirk Franklin added, “He didn’t even know. He didn’t even know he had a son, and I didn’t even know I have a father.”
After meeting up with Richard, Kirk went to see his mother, Debra Jones, for the first time in 23 years. However, she shot down the paternity test results, though a second one reconfirmed that Richard Hubbard is Kirk Franklin’s biological father.
During a sit-down with PEOPLE, Franklin remarked that Hubbard is “a great guy.” The artist also revealed that — as Richard Hubbard has a daughter — he has a newfound sister through this revelation, and she’s doing her best to adjust.
“She’s been honest about how hard this is for her as well, learning not only does she have a brother but that that brother is Kirk Franklin.”
The Gospel Singer Met Up With Kerrion Franklin To Reconcile
In addition to this heartwarming development, the documentary showcased Kirk reuniting with his firstborn, Kerrion Franklin. The pair had a public falling out in March 2021 after Kerrion released a recording that highlighted Kirk going OFF on him, and — two years later — Kirk told Page Six that the situation “traumatizes [him] to this day.”
In July 2023, on the heels of his paternity journey, Kirk met with Kerrion to work towards reconciling, and he shared the news about finding his father. This prompted Kerrion to tear up, leading to an emotional moment between the father-son duo.
During his chat with PEOPLE, Kirk acknowledged making up with his firstborn.
“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. He is beginning to reveal and testify to his struggles, his own battles with certain things that have at times cost him. … He has me and now his grandfather that will be there to help in any way we can.”
Taking a step back to speak on his parenting choices, Kirk Franklin remarked, “I have fathered out of fear the majority of my parenting life.”
“Because of what I experienced, I was like ‘I’ll be damned if I let my kids feel that type of pain.’ So a lot of times I over-parented and over-performed, bought too many bicycles, ran off too many boyfriends, just wanting to protect.”
He added, “I had to learn. My children have been the best part of my life.”