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Donnie McClurkin is a gospel vocalist with the soul of Andraé Crouch and the contemporary flair of Kirk Franklin. Born into a home filled with domestic violence and drug abuse, McClurkin was saved by an aunt who sang background vocals with Crouch himself. After staying close to Crouch throughout his boyhood, he began to play piano and sing with his church youth choir. He formed the McClurkin Singers by the time he was a teenager, and later formed another group, the New York Restoration Choir.
Hired as an associate minister at Marvin Winans' Perfecting Church in 1989, with his vocals during a seminar, McClurkin endured a bout with leukemia that year. A friendship with a Warner Alliance executive resulted in his signing to the label for his 1996 self-titled LP, with producers Mark Kibble (of Take 6), Cedric and Victor Maxwell plus Andraé Crouch.
Donald Andrew "Donnie" McClurkin, Jr. (born November 9, 1959) is an American gospel music singer and minister. He has won three Grammy awards, ten Stellar awards, two BET awards, two Soul Train awards, one Dove award and one NAACP Image award for his work. He is said to be one of the top selling Gospel music artists, selling over 10 million albums worldwide.
McClurkin was born in South Carolina and raised in Amityville, both on Long Island. When he was eight years old, his two-year-old brother was hit and killed by a speeding driver. Soon after the loss, McClurkin experienced family turmoil due to the loss of his brother and shortly after became a victim of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of his great uncle, and years after by his great uncle's son. Two of his sisters dealt with substance abuse, and so the young McClurkin found comfort in church and through an aunt who sang background vocals with gospel music musician Andraé Crouch. He formed the McClurkin Singers by the time he was a teenager, and later formed another group, the New York Restoration Choir."WLIB New York Radio Station". WLIB. "Malaco Gospel". MalacoRecords.
He was hired as an associate minister at Marvin Winans' Perfecting Church in Detroit, in 1989. McClurkin served as an assistant to Winans for over a decade.
In 1991, a sharp pain and swelling, followed by internal bleeding led, he says, to a diagnosis of leukemia. The doctor suggested immediate treatment, but McClurkin, who was then 31, decided to take his own advice. "I tell people to believe that God will save you," he says, "[and] I had to turn around and practice the very thing that I preached."
He was ordained and sent out by Winans in 2001 to establish Perfecting Faith Church in Freeport, New York, where he is now Senior Pastor.Jeffers, Glenn (August 2001). "How Donnie McClurkin Overcame , Sexual Abuse and Leukemia Scare To Become A Gospel Music Star". Ebony. Jeffers, Glenn (August 2001). "How Donnie McClurkin Overcame Rape, Sexual Abuse And Leukemia Scare To Become A Gospel Music Star". EbonyMagazine. "Official Perfecting Faith Church website". PFC. "Popular Gospel Singer Donnie McClurkin Ordained As Pastor". Jet Magazine. June 25, 2001.
A friendship with a Warner Alliance executive resulted in his signing to the label for his 1996 self-titled LP, with producers Mark Kibble of Take 6, Cedric and Victor Caldwell plus Andraé Crouch. The disc, which featured the perennially popular "Stand," went gold shortly after being publicly lauded by Oprah Winfrey. At the 48th Annual Grammy Awards, he won in the category Traditional Soul Gospel Album, for "Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs". McClurkin is best known for his hit songs “Stand” and “We Fall Down” which were played in heavy rotation on both Gospel and Urban radio. His three solo albums have topped the Billboard charts.
Dovetailing off the success of his near double-platinum selling album,"Live in London and More" McClurkin released "Psalms,Hymns and Spiritual Songs" in 2005 and “We All Are One: Live In Detroit” in 2009 which also topped Billboard charts across various musical genres. McClurkin's love for people and desire to share gospel music,globally, is why he includes a language medley:Japanese, Russian, Spanish, and Dutch in most live performances.Waldron, Clarence (January 6, 2003). "Donnie McClurkin: Gospel Music's Hidden Treasure". Jet Magazine. List of Grammy winners "Billboard Charts". Billboard.
Radio and television
Tom Versen and Tony Sisti of T&T Creative signed McClurkin to a radio syndication deal with advertising giant Dial-Global and syndicator Gary Bernstein. T&T Creative provided a mobile recording studio in Pastor Donnie's church that he can also take on the road. He is quoted as saying, "As much as I love music and singing, I really love doing radio and the direct feedback I get from my listeners all over the country. I never thought I would be having this much fun doing radio and I could touch and impact so many people."
In 2009, he also broadcast his own television series, Perfecting Your Faith, on cable television. His television appearances include Good Morning America, CBS’s The Early Show, The View, Girlfriends and The Parkers. He has also been featured in such films as The Gospel and The Fighting Temptations."Donnie McClurkin Launches Weekly Television Broadcast". Black Christian News. May 13, 2009.
Criticism of sexual orientation
McClurkin, in 2002, told a Christian website that, due to the sexual abuse, he had struggled with homosexuality. He also said that he had rejected that lifestyle: “I’ve been through this and have experienced God’s power to change my lifestyle. I am delivered and I know God can deliver others, too.”
In 2013, McClurkin was "asked not to attend" a ceremony in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, in Washington, DC, in which he had been scheduled to appear as a featured performer. A spokesman for the city mayor stated “The Arts and Humanities Commission and Donnie McClurkin’s management decided that it would be best for him to withdraw because the purpose of the event is to bring people together,” but McClurkin denied having agreed, stating the mayor had "uninvited me from a concert where I was supposed to headline."Donnie McClurkin does not appear at King Memorial concert
Compilation albumsSingles:Stand (1996)Speak To My Heart (1996)Love Will Never Be (1996)We Fall Down (2000) (Lead with 2012-2013 Instrumental Soundtrack)Love Melodies (1998)We Love You, Lord (2000)Ooh Child (2005) with Kirk Franklin)The Prayer (2003)(with Yolanda Adams)I Call You Faithful (2005)That Great Day (2007) (with Tye Tribbett, Da' T.R.U.T.H.)Wait on the Lord (2009) (with Karen Clark Sheard) Cite error: The named reference charts1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Cite error: The named reference charts2 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
Over his storied career, McClurkin has won a number of awards, including three Grammy Awards, two BET Awards and two Soul Train Music Awards."Donnie McClurkin". BET. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
FilmographyHopeville (2007)The Gospel (2005)The Prince of Egypt (1998) wrote and sang "I Am" & "Humanity"25 Strong: The BET Silver Anniversary SpecialThe Donnie McClurkin Story: From Darkness to Light (2004)Apollo at 70: A Hot Night in Harlem (2004)The Fighting Temptations (2003)
Notable television appearances:Super Bowl Gospel Celebration (2012)CNN Saturday Morning (2012)CNN Pierce Morgan Tonight (2012)BET Sunday Best Judge (2012)Super Bowl Gospel Celebration (2011)BET Awards-performance (2011)BET Sunday Best -Judge (2011)BET Sunday Best - Judge (2010)25th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards-Hosted (2010)24th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards-Co-Hosted (2009)An Evening of Stars: Tribute to Stevie Wonder (2006)20th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards (2005)19th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards (2004)18th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards Preshow (2003)17th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards (2002)Essence Awards (2003)The Parkers (2002)Girlfriends (2001)1st Annual BET Awards (2001)Essence Awards (2001)An Evening of Stars: A Celebration of Educational Excellence (2001)