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Artist Bio: Brian McKnight

By

Artist Bio: Brian McKnight

Brian McKnight photo © Motown Records.

Born & Raised:

Born June 5, 1969 in Buffalo, NY. His family moved to Orlando, Florida when Brian was 8.

Early Life:

Brian was a musical child in a musical family. Growing up, he was a member of his church choir the fifth generation of Seventh Day Adventists and the youngest of four brothers and in high school, he was a bandleader.
Others in his family have musical talent as well: when Brian was still small, he and his brothers formed a musical quartet, with their role models being Gospel groups like the Swan Silvertones and the Mighty Clouds of Joy.

First Record Deal:

When they were older, Brian's brother, Claude McKnight III, went on to become a member of the a capella Gospel group Take 6. In 1987, Take 6 got a record deal. Two years later, while a sophomore at a Christian college in Alabama, Brian was kicked out for having a girl in his room. However, he was so inspired by his older brother's group signing a record deal that he sent out some demo tapes and wound up being signed in 1989 by Mercury Records at the age of 19.

Superstar Status:

Brian wound up recording three albums while signed to Mercury. His eponymous debut came in 1992, then his second LP, I Remember You followed in 1995.
But it was Brian's third and final album for Mercury, 1997's Anytime, that saw McKnight blossom into an R&B superstar. Anytime went double platinum in the U.S. (selling over two million copies) and was nominated for a Grammy.

Mercury to Motown to Warner:

McKnight eventually left Mercury and signed with Motown. His first project for the label was the 1998 Christmas album Bethlehem. In 1999, he released Back at One, which went on to sell over three million copies. He released five more albums while on Motown (six if you include a 2002 greatest hits package). In 2003-04, McKnight got divorced, switched managers and spent time playing semi-pro basketball with a team he owns in California. McKnight's last Motown album was Gemini in February, 2005. After seven years with Motown, McKnight signed with Warner Bros. and released his tenth album, Ten, on Nov. 14, 2006.

Full Discography:

2013: More Than Words.
2011: Just Me.
2009: Evolution of a Man.
2008: I'll Be Home For Christmas.
2007: Gold (compilation)
2007: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Brian McKnight (compilation)
2006: Ten.
2005: Gemini
2003: U-Turn
2002: From There to Here: 1989-2002 (compilation)
2001: Superhero
1999: Back at One
1998: Bethlehem
1997: Anytime
1995: I Remember You
1992: Brian McKnight

The Final Word:

"A lot of guys write to my website and say, 'You know, I wanted to tell my girlfriend or wife how I felt about her and I couldn't find the words so I wrote down the lyrics to your song and I gave it to her. And she cried.' Or, 'It's our song now and we played it at our wedding.'" -- Brian McKnight, to Internet Broadcasting System, December, 1999.

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