Romantic R&B crooner Brian McKnight was born in Buffalo,
N.Y., on June 5, 1969 and was taught to sing at age four by his mother, a choir
singer and gospel pianist. Brian McKnight formed a gospel quartet with his older
brothers as a small child before discovering jazz and Stevie Wonder while living
in Orlando, Fla. As a teenager, Brian McKnight began playing jazz piano and
trumpet, all the while excelling at high school sports.
At Oakwood College in Huntsville, Ala., Brian McKnight began
his career in earnest, inspired by his older brother Claude's success with the
R&B group Take 6. With local producer Brandon Barnes, who became McKnight's
songwriter, Brian McKnight recorded dozens of demo tracks, which impressed
Mercury Records' Ed Eckstine enough to sign McKnight to a deal.
His 1992 self-titled debut album was three years in the
making, but the effort paid off: its standout single "One Last Cry" reached No.
1. He soon scored another hit with the No. 3 pop crossover "Love Is," a duet
with Vanessa Williams found on the Beverly Hills 90210 soundtrack. 1995's I
Remember was another hit, as was 1997's Anytime, which featured the single "You
Should Be Mine," produced by Sean "Puffy" Combs and featuring rapper Mase. In
addition to his work as a singer, Brian McKnight has also produced albums for
Boyz II Men, Jason's Lyric and Take 6. Brian McKnight released his fourth album,
and first holiday album, Bethlehem, in the fall of 1998.
Three years later, Brian McKnight released Superhero in 2001.
In 2002, Brian McKnightt's first best-of compilation, From There to Here, hit
the streets. It includes his very first single, 1992's "The Way Love Goes," the
1994 cover of Van Morisson's "Crazy Love," and 2002's "Love of My Life, as well
as two new songs, "Let Me Love You" and "How I Do."
In 2003, Brian McKnight released U Turn, which featured a
slate of cameos by Nelly, Tyrese, Kirk Franklin and more. The album features a
more eclectic Brian McKnight as he glides effortlessly from slow soulful ballads
to up-tempo hip-hop tracks.