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The Religious Affiliation of R&B Singer, Songwriter, Musician
Brian McKnight

Brian McKnight (born June 5 1969 in Buffalo, New York) is a black singer, songwriter, arranger, and music producer, specializing in pop and R&B. He plays the piano, guitar, and trumpet.

Brian McKnight was raised in an active Latter-day Saint home, but is not currently known to be an active churchgoer.

Brian McKnight's brother - Claude V. McKnight III - is a singer in Take 6, a popular music group comprised of active Seventh-day Adventists.

Brian McKnight met Julie, the woman who was his wife for thirteen years until they divorced, while they both attended Oakwood College, a Seventh-day Adventist college. They were both expelled from the college, which led to McKnight having sufficient free time to focus on his music and launch his career in earnest.

From: Aldore Collier, "Brian McKnight: single again: award-winning singer begins a new life after divorce", in Ebony, August 2003 (http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1077/is_10_58/ai_105853311; viewed 23 October 2005):

It is a far cry from six years ago when he says he realized there were major problems in the relationship [between McKnight and Julie, his wife of 13 years]. But because both had come from very religious backgrounds (they met while students at Oakwood College, a Seventh-Day Adventist-affiliated school in Alabama), they were determined to try to make it work. The presence of two children made it more imperative to not give up on it. "I think deep down we both knew six years ago that this would be the end result. If we hadn't had children, it would have been much easier to say, 'You know what, we're just going to go our separate ways.' We do love each other, but people grow apart."

From: Billy Johnson Jr, "Brian McKnight: Biography" on "Yahoo! Music" (launch.yahoo.com) website (http://launch.yahoo.com/artist/artistFocus.asp?artistID=1017555; viewed 25 November 2004):

McKnight's success is much deserved. The youngest of five boys, he has been involved with music since his youth; surprisingly, however, his roots are primarily in gospel and jazz (one of his older brothers, Claude, is a founding member of the gospel a cappella group Take 6). While in high school, McKnight created numerous jazzy instrumentals, and he'd formed a jazz-fusion ensemble by the age of 17.

But when [Brian] McKnight was kicked out of Huntsville, Alabama's Oakwood College for sneaking a girl into his room (a clear no-no for a school strictly rooted in Seventh Day Adventist fundamentals), he found himself with more time to devote to songwriting. The then-19-year-old truly put his free time to use, penning 65 songs during that Summer. When a Mercury Records executive heard McKnight's demo, he offered McKnight a deal within two weeks.

From: Skye and Greer, "Brian McKnight" page on "Men We Like" website (http://home.clara.net/merry/Brian.html; viewed 23 October 2005):
- Date of birth: June 5, 1969 in Buffalo, New York
- From a Seventh Day Adventist family (5th generation!) - sang in the choir!

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Webpage created 23 October 2005. Last modified 23 October 2005.
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