Kirk Franklin has officially dropped a new documentary, showcasing the raw and emotional journey to connecting with his biological father.
Reported exclusively by PEOPLE, the project began as a doc on the creation of his 13th studio album, Father’s Day.
“This is the first time I’ve had a behind-the-scenes videographer capturing content for the making of a project,” says Franklin. “I recorded the first song in March. Then in April, everything shifted and became something I could have never planned for.”
The Grammy-winning artist, who was adopted at age 4, initially believed that a man named Dwight Allen was his biological father. Franklin’s biological mother, whom he hadn’t seen in over 2 decades, was adamant that Allen was the father.
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Franklin reunited with Allen in 2020 to reconcile. Sadly, Allen passed away a few months after their meeting.
However, as Franklin began work on his new project, a singer that he hired from his hometown of Fort Worth, TX, told him that she met a man at a funeral who said he once dated Franklin’s mother.
That man, Richard Hubbard, lived only minutes away from where Franklin grew up.
Hubbard and Franklin took a DNA test, and the results were a 99.9 match for paternity.
“To live over half a century with somebody who lived in the same city as you…” says an overwhelmed Franklin. “I suffered so much as a young man without guidance. I struggled with love, intimacy, faith, identity. And to know that the answer was less than 10 minutes away.”
The documentary shows the raw events following the shocking revelation, including Franklin’s first meeting with Hubbard, whom he calls “a great guy.”
It also shows Franklin’s biological mother struggling to come to terms with the news. She refuses to accept the results, even after a second DNA test was completed. Franklin reveals that he has not spoken to her since.
Most importantly, the journey allowed Franklin to reflect on his own role as a father, which led to him reconnecting with his estranged son, Kerrion Franklin, for the first time in two years.
“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,” says Franklin.
The events that transpired ultimately gives new purpose to his Father’s Day album, set to be released on Oct. 6.
“The title Father’s Day has triple meaning,” he explains. “The logline is, ‘It’s what I missed, where I am and what has always been.'” And after all he’s been through, “even when I want to curse the sky,” he says, “I’m still built to believe.”