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Kirk Franklin's favorite Tiny Desk concerts

For Tiny Desk Playlists, we ask musicians, creators and folks we admire to choose the Tiny Desk concerts they've come to love. For this edition and as part of our Black History Month celebration, we asked Grammy-winning gospel singer and songwriter Kirk Franklin to make us a playlist.

Kirk Franklin's Tiny Desk (home) concert capped off last year's celebration of Black History Month. As we continued to navigate life during a pandemic in early 2021, this show seemed to arrive at the perfect time, becoming a source of comfort, hope and unbridled joy for millions. Next time you watch his show, spend some time in the YouTube comments and try not to smile. While we anticipate the prospect of a Kirk Franklin appearance behind the real Tiny Desk, we asked him to list his five favorites. —Bobby Carter


Jazmine Sullivan — Jazmine Sullivan's Tiny Desk is a masterclass in skillset, emotion, technique and storytelling in the hands of a master craftsman. The pain that she exudes and the excellence of every note that she touches give us a throwback to Ella Fitzgerald and '90s Mary J. She is the quintessential vocalist of our time.

Chance The Rapper — Chance the Rapper gave us a stripped-down version of hip-hop that exposes the vulnerability, the range and the personal experience of an artist that comes from a genre that rarely exposes that level of sensibility. Not only is he a wordsmith, but his passion for singing creates different colors in hip-hop that are so desperately needed more than ever before. He truly is a great painter in his own coloring book.

H.E.R. — H.E.R is truly amazing live, and her background vocalists make this one of the most beautiful Tiny Desk concerts. Her musicianship is undeniable; how she goes from various instruments to tell her own story is a skillset that you rarely see from her generation.

Adele — Adele's ability to create a breathy, fragile voice while also being capable of attacking high-range powerful notes identifies why few artists in our times can just stand with one name — for example, Prince, Cher, Michael and Janet — but in this performance, we definitely understand why she goes by just Adele.

Kirk Franklin — I chose my own Tiny Desk because I was full of fear and anxiety ahead of performing, because of the show's reputation and the history of excellence that I've seen just as a fan. I didn't know that I could live up to the expectation that was already established by the many greats who performed before me. So, that's why I had to name myself — because looking back on the performance, I was humbled that I didn't fall, I didn't trip over chords and I was able to get through without showing how desperately afraid I was.


Tiny Desks In This Playlist

Jazmine Sullivan
Chance The Rapper
H.E.R.
Adele
Kirk Franklin

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Kirk Franklin