Thirteen-time Grammy Award-winner Kirk Franklin recently sat down with EBONY to discuss his upcoming LONG LIVE LOVE album and tour.

Franklin, who recently hosted the 34th annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards, is preparing to drop his 13th studio album on May 31.

Though he may be a songwriting pro and a music industry veteran, Franklin opened up about a “first” he encountered while preparing the project. “This will be the first time that I am able to marry the tour and the album; even the sale of the album is connected to the ticket to the tour,” he revealed. “It’s kind of like this marriage that I’ve been trying to get together for years in my career, but it hasn’t always been able to line up like it has this time.”

As far as the message in his music goes, he said, “Every day, we’ve been reminded about how important the subject of love is within culture and how important it is to see it from the lens of God’s heart.”

Thrilled about news that the Clark Sisters are landing a biopic, Franklin said, “I think that it’s beautiful that culture now has a chance to celebrate these men and women of faith who sacrificed very much and received little acclaim because they talk about Jesus.”

And which celeb would the gospel legend like to see portray him in an biographical film about his life? “Emanuel Lewis, Webster from the TV show … because he’s little. He’s the only person [who] can see eye to eye with me,” he explained.

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Despite being “booked” and “superbusy,” Franklin is headlining the second annual Exodus Music & Arts Festival on May 26 in Irving, Texas. He’s also set to hit the road on the LONG LIVE LIVE tour beginning July 11. The songwriter will also reprise his role as a host on BET’s gospel singing competition, Sunday Best, when it airs this summer.



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