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Brian McKnight (born June 5 1969 in Buffalo, New Yorkmarker) is an Americanmarker singer, songwriter, arranger, producer, and pop and R&B musician. He is a multi-instrumentalist who can play nine instruments: piano, guitar, bass guitar, drums, percussions, trombone, tuba, French horn and trumpet.


McKnight's musical career began with a musical childhood, in which he played a member of a Seventh-day Adventist Church choir. Encouraged by his older brother Claude's band, Take 6, getting a record deal, McKnight sent out demo tapes and, at the age of 19, signed his first recording deal with Mercury Records subsidiary Wing Records. However, he ended up recording his albums for Mercury, released his first album, Brian McKnight, in 1992. He went on to release three more albums for Mercury records before moving to Motown Records. His final album with Mercury Records, Anytime sold over two million copies and was nominated for a Grammy.

In 1999, McKnight released Back at One (his second release from Motown; after the Christmas album Bethlehem), which sold over three million copies. Throughout his career he has collaborated with a variety of musicians including Mase, Sean "Puffy" Combs, Mary J. Blige, Justin Timberlake, Nelly, Vanessa Williams, Ivete Sangalo, Kirk Franklin, For Real, Canibus, Quincy Jones, Boyz II Men, Christina Aguilera,Marlon Winbush, Regine Velasquez, Shoshana Bean, Mariah Carey, Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band, Rascal Flatts and Josh Groban (on his 2007 #1 Christmas album Noël).

McKnight in 2004, co-wrote with Australian Soul artist Guy Sebastian the song Wait which is a track off the Beautiful Life .

McKnight's vocal style draws from Stevie Wonder (particularly in his use of melisma), Michael Sembello, Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, and his own brother, Take 6 co-founder Claude V. McKnight. Soul singer James Ingram also strongly influenced McKnight. His music production sensibilities especially his penchant for piano based pop ballads, method of background vocal recording and melismatic voice inflections all draw heavily from Ingram. Brian McKnight also has the uncanny ability to mimic the timbre and style of other singers such as Nat King Cole, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Prince.

McKnight is divorced and has two sons (Brian Jr. 19 and Niko 17 and currently lives in Los Angeles, Californiamarker..

McKnight currently hosts a radio show, The Brian McKnight Morning Show with Pat Prescott on KTWV The Wave in Los Angeles, CA. The show was also simulcasted on KHJZ-FM, Smooth Jazz 95.7 The Wave in Houston, TX from 6am-9am CST, but this station has since changed its format. In October 2007, McKnight had his debut on Broadway in the show Chicagomarker.

In 2009, he appeared in the second season of Celebrity Apprentice. Each celebrity played to raise money for the charity of their choice; McKnight elected to play for Youthville USA. On January 26, 2009, Brian McKnight hosted "The Brian McKnight show" from 7PM-Midnight on 98.7 KISS FM in New York City.

In the fall of 2009, McKnight starred in his own late night talk show currently in syndication. The show is a combination talk show with variety acts. Guests include musicians, athletic champions and Hollywood stars.


Brian McKnight is a Seventh-day Adventist. He grew up attending Emmanuel Temple Seventh-day Adventist Church in Buffalo, NY. He also attended Oakwood Universitymarker, a Seventh-day Adventist university, in Huntsville, Alabamamarker from 1987-1989. Brian McKnight explains, concerning his religion:

"I'm the fifth generation of Seventh Day Adventists and the youngest of four brothers. When I was still very small, we formed a gospel quartet. Our models were the great gospel groups, the Swan Silvertones and Mighty Clouds of Joy. The McKnight Brothers were serious singers. The reputation went out: these boys could shout. My big brothers—Claude, Freddie and Michael—man, they were my heroes. Each was a leader in his own right. Outside church, they listened to jazz. Church music thrilled me, but jazz stimulated me."


Awards and nominations

    • 1999, Favorite R&B/Soul Album: Anytime (Nominated)

  • BET Awards
    • 2007, BET J Cool Like Dat: (Nominated)

  • Grammy Awards
    • 2005, Best R&B Male Vocal Performance: "What We Do Here" (Nominated)
    • 2004, Best R&B Male Vocal Performance: "Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda" (Nominated)
    • 2003, Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group: "All the Way" w/ Kenny G (Nominated)
    • 2002, Outstanding Song Written for a Motion Picture of Television Series: "Win" from Men of Honor (Nominated)
    • 2002, Best Male Pop Vocal Performance: "Still" (Nominated)
    • 2002, Best Pop Collaboration w/ Vocals: "My Kind of Girl" w/ Justin Timberlake (Nominated)
    • 2002, Best R&B Song: "Love of My Life" (Nominated)
    • 2002, Best R&B Male Vocal Performance: "Love of My Life" (Nominated)
    • 2001, Best Male Pop Vocal Performance: "6, 8, 12" (Nominated)
    • 2001, Best R&B Male Vocal Performance: "Stay or Let It Go" (Nominated)
    • 2001, Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group: "Coming Back Home" w/ Bebe Winans & Joe (Nominated)
    • 2000, Best R&B Album: Back at One (Nominated)
    • 2000, Best Short-Form Music Video: "Back at One" (Nominated)
    • 1999, Best R&B Male Vocal Performance: "The Only One For Me" (Nominated)
    • 1999, Best Male Pop Vocal Performance: "Anytime" (Nominated)
    • 1994, Best Pop Collaboration w/ Vocals: "Love Is" w/ Vanessa L. Williams (Nominated)

McKnight holds a record, having received 16 nominations without a win.

  • Image Awards
    • 2002, Outstanding Male Artist: Superhero (Nominated)
    • 2001, Outstanding Male Artist: "Stay or Let It Go" (Nominated)
    • 2000, Outstanding Male Artist: "Back at One" (Winner)

  • MTV Video Music Awards
    • 2000, Best R&B Video: "Back at One" (Nominated)
    • 1998, Best R&B Video: "Anytime" (Nominated)

  • Soul Train Awards
    • 2002, Best R&B/Soul Male Single: "Love of My Life" (Nominated)
    • 2000, Best R&B/Soul Single Male: "Back at One" (Nominated)
    • 2000, Best R&B/Soul Male Album: Back at One (Nominated)
    • 1999, Best R&B/Soul Male Album: "Anytime" (Winner)


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