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Kirk Franklin on the challenge of making gospel music relevant in a culture that’s kind of checked out


Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BETEarlier this year, Kirk Franklin won his 13th Grammy for “Never Alone,” his collaboration with pop star Tori Kelly.  Now, the gospel legend has released his 13th album, Long Live Love — but he admits that keeping his style of music relevant in this day and age is increasingly difficult.

“It has always become more challenging just as the years go by, because the world is a different place,” he tells ABC Radio. “It may not be always as welcoming to the content that I try to deliver.”

“You know, music has changed — the style of music has changed,” he notes, adding, “How do you continue to keep a 2000-year-old message relevant and in a culture that has kind of checked out?”

Franklin says sometimes he wonders if his chosen musical genre is “still even relevant,” while on a more personal note, he reveals, “Then you have your own insecurities, you know? ‘Do people still want to hear what I got to say?’ I’ve been around for a long time — how do I get people’s attention without trying to get their attention?'”

The award-winning star says ultimately, the question he has to ask himself before making music these days is this: “How do I stay very relevant to the faith that I believe, and not try too hard to do anything that’s not authentically me?”

So far, Franklin seems to have figured out a winning formula: Long Live Love debuted at #1 on Billboard‘s Top Gospel Albums chart.

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