From his Broadway debut in Chicago to stints as radio and television host, musical powerhouse Brian McKnight has shown depth and talent in all aspects of a fickle industry.
But it’s his smooth-as-silk voice that has brought him the most acclaim.
In a career that has earned him 16 Grammy award nominations and has taken him to major record labels like Mercury, Motown, and Warner Brothers, McKnight continues to win over new fans with his soulful interpretations of songs that run the spectrum.
His early days in music helped form the basis of his musical expertise, benefiting from both church choir and school band commitments in his hometown of Buffalo, N.Y.
“I am a product of every piece of music I’ve ever heard, played and/or sang and all of that began in Buffalo under the tutelage of my family, the church choir, my family’s records, and the radio,” he said. “Things I still incorporate into my music today are the very foundation of all I do.”
Unlike some performers who have slowed down their recording career over the years, McKnight continues to release albums at a steady interval. His most recent is Genesis, which hit stores in 2017 just a year after Better joined his discography.
But this summer, McKnight releases Bedtime Story, his 14th studio album, which includes his new single “When I’m Gone.”
There remains some division about whether releasing physical albums continues to be viable versus putting music out digitally. McKnight has chosen to defer that choice to his fans.
“I think both arguments are valid,” he said. “I guess it just depends on how your fans feel about either getting one song at a time or getting an entire body of work. It’s hard to judge right now.”
As evidenced from his variety of projects, McKnight isn’t afraid to try out new things. He recently connected with a new app called Video Request Line.
The company behind VRL announced their partnership with McKnight with a recent press release that explained how the app will work to connect performers and athletes with their fans.
“VRL is an interactive communications platform that allows recording artist, athletes, celebrity personalities, public figures, and more to connect with their fan base through personalized, custom video messaging,” according to the press release.
Video Request Line joins McKnight’s other busy social media platforms, including Instagram, where he shares both his professional and personal life with fans. His recent 50th birthday celebration was well documented, and he keeps fans abreast of his upcoming performances like his upcoming visit to The Clyde.
McKnight may have his irons in a lot of fires, but he said that performing in front of fans is still gratifying.
“When the audience anticipates a song that I wrote a bar or two into the intro and then they sing it louder than I do once the verse starts, it never gets old.”
For fans counting the days until he comes to Fort Wayne, McKnight promises a show that is sure to delight those who have been with him since he released his self-titled debut album in 1992.
“My show is a complete retrospective of my career from beginning to now and everything in between,” he said. “I’ll be doing all of the hits and more.”
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October 19 • The Clyde Theatre