6 Brian McKnight Facts Every R&B Fan Should Know

Elif Ozden

Born Brian Kelly McKnight on June 5, 1969, Brian McKnight has carved out a career as a singer, songwriter, actor, record producer, and radio host. Even if you’re a casual fan, there are some aspects of McKnight’s life and career that might be news to you. In this article, we touch upon six facts about McKnight that every R&B fan should be aware of.

1. McKnight Hosted a Talk Show


In addition to his musical pursuits, McKnight hosted a late-night talk television show in 2009 called ‘The Brian McKnight Show,‘ alongside co-host Kym Whitley. Airing from September 2009 to May 2010, the show combined talk and variety elements. However, it was canceled after just one season.

2. He Plays Eight Instruments


Many may not know that Brian is also a skilled multi-instrumentalist. He can play eight instruments, including the piano, guitar, bass guitar, percussion, trombone, tuba, flugelhorn, and trumpet!

3. McKnight is Among the Few Leggiero Tenors


McKnight falls under the category of leggiero tenors in the pop genre, characterized by a lightweight, flexible tenor voice type. He is also known for his strong falsetto and belting range.

4. He Signed With Motown


Under Motown Records, McKnight released a Christmas album titled ‘Bethlehem‘ and continued his career path with the 2001 album ‘Superhero.’ The latter album included guest appearances from artists like Justin Timberlake, Nate Dogg, and Nelly’s St Lunatics and explored a rock style. His work with Motown lasted six years, until 2003, during which he received five Grammy nominations for ‘Superhero.’

5. He Appeared on Celebrity Apprentice


In 2009, McKnight took a break from the music scene to appear on the second season of Celebrity Apprentice. The show involves celebrities competing in business-related tasks to raise money for their chosen charities. McKnight chose to participate to raise funds for Youthville USA.

6. McKnight Has Grammy Nominations But No Wins


Over his career, McKnight has received 17 Grammy Award nominations. However, he has yet to win one. Before his last nomination for best male R&B vocal performance in 2004, he shared this record of the most Grammy nominations without a win with rapper Snoop Dogg.

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