Brian McKnight is one of the most nominated artists for a Grammy award. Though he has yet to take one home, McKnight’s global success speaks for itself. Read more about his career and Brian McKnight net worth.
Brian McKnight’s fame started in the late 90s and early 2000, like the Canadian rock band Nickelback. McKnight shares the 2nd spot of Most Grammy nominations without winning, with rapper-songwriter Snoop Dog and Mastering engineer Christ Gehringer.
Brian McKnight net worth is $10 million for the current year. For thirty years, McKnight has been one of the most consistent and enduring adult contemporary R&B artists. McKnight wrote Still, One Last Cry, Back at One, and Everything. He sold 25 million albums worldwide.
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Brian McKnight – Short Bio
Brian Kelly McKnight was born in Buffalo, New York, on June 5th, 1969. Like Patti Labelle and other soul legends, McKnight grew up in a family where music was a big part of their lives. His earliest influence was his mother, who taught him how to sing as a tiny child, his grandfather, who taught gospel music, and his older brother Claude, a member of Take 6.
For generations, the McKnights have been devout Seventh-Day Adventists. They attended the Emanuel Temple, and during Brian’s time, his family led the performance of gospel music.
McKnight’s early performances were with the church choir that his grandfather directed. And at home, he would listen and explore other music genres. McKnight’s passion led him to learn how to play instruments, and he mastered nine different instruments, including piano and guitar.
His background came in handy when he attended Maynard Evans High School in Florida, where he spent the next few years performing in a band.
In college, his attention was brought back to music after Claude and his band, Take 6, received a contract from Warner Alliance, a contemporary Christian record label, in 1987. It inspired the younger McKnight to record his samples and aim for a career in mainstream music.
Brian McKnight’s Career
At 18, Brian McKnight formed a band and performed his original compositions at local venues. After gaining the confidence he needed to perform in bigger crowds, McKnight sent demo tapes to various recording companies, and he caught the attention of Mercury Records’, Ed Eckstine.
In just two weeks, Brian McKnight signed his first record deal.
His first release was the self-titled album Brian McKnight, in 1992. It featured the song One Last Cry, which peaked at #13 on the Billboard Top 100 and stayed on the charts for nineteen weeks. The album initially sold 500,000 copies and was undoubtedly one of the most popular albums at the time. To date, the album Brian McKnight is RIAA-certified triple platinum.
Because of his debut album’s success, Brian McKnight was named one of the most promising and upcoming singer-songwriters. But despite the album’s enormous success, it still took McKnight another three years to release his second album.
In 1995, McKnight’s second studio album, I Remember You, peaked at #22 on the US Billboard Top 200 and nestled at #4 in the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. Three of its singles were R&B chart-toppers, and the album received a gold certification.
McKnight released Anytime, his third and last album under Mercury Records, in 1997. It became the first of his albums that would top the R&B/Hip-Hop charts. The album spawned four chart-topping singles and was later certified as double platinum.
In 1998, McKnight released his first Christmas album, Bethlehem. with his new label, Motown Records. Soon after, he released his fifth studio album, Back at One, marked as the singer’s most successful album. It sold over 140,000 copies in its first week and landed at #7 on the US Billboard Top 200. It also marked McKnight’s transition to the hip-hop soul market.
Brian McKnight followed with two more albums, U-Turn in 2003 and Gemini in 2005. Though both successfully landed within the top 10 albums of the Billboard 200 charts, neither sold as well as McKnight’s previous releases and U-turn did sell just enough to be certified gold by RIAA.
2004 to 2012
In 2005, Brian McKnight switched labels for a third time, jumping ship with Warner Bros Records. But it was a short-lived commitment. The singer only released one album under the brand. The album, Ten, included the featured soundtrack for the movie Madea’s Family Reunion, Find Myself In You. Ten had other songs from the album: My Girl and What’s My Name.
McKnight took a step back from producing songs for himself and started to write songs for other artists. He also dabbled in the world of acting and hosting.
- In 2004, McKnight co-wrote the song “Wait” with Australian Soul Artist Guy Sebastian for the Aussie singer’s album, Beautiful Life.
- McKnight appeared on his Broadway debut in the show Chicago.
- In 2006, The Brian McKnight Morning Show with Pat Prescott on KTWV The Wave in Los Angeles, CA. The show was a simulcast on KHJZ-FM, Smooth Jazz 95.7. The show lasted until 2010.
- In January of 2009, McKnight also started hosting The Brian McKnight Show. The program was heard on New York’s 98.7 KISS FM from 7 PM to 12 AM.
- McKnight appeared on season two of Celebrity Apprentice.
- In 2011, McKnight sang the National Anthem for the MLB Opening Day in Cincinnati.
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Brian McKnight Net Worth – Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Brian McKnight net worth?
Brian McKnight net worth is $10 million for this year. The 52-year old singer-songwriter entered the mainstream at the age of 19. McKnight shares the 2nd spot of Most Grammy nominations without winning, with rapper-songwriter Snoop Dog and Mastering engineer Christ Gehringer.
What Is Bryan McKnight’s Most Famous Song?
Back at One is perhaps Brian McKnight’s most famous song. The singer received a nomination for a Soul Train award for the album. The song peaked at #2 on the Billboard Top 100 and #7 on R&B charts.
Who Is Bryan McKnight’s Wife?
Bryan McKnight married his current wife, Leilani Mendoza, in 2017. He was once married to Julie McKnight, they tied the knot in 1990 and divorced in 2003.
Brian McKnight Net Worth – Final Thoughts
Brian McKnight is one of the best balladeers of the 90s and early 2000s. His strong falsetto and belting range added an extra pull to the already heartfelt lyrics of his songs.
With a career spanning over three decades, at least thirty award nominations, and 25 million album copies sold, Brian McKnight is worthy of being called an icon of the music industry.
Though he may not be as popular now as he was back in the day, McKnight’s ability to write great lyrics continues to shine through the cracks of time. With Brian McKnight net worth of $10 million for the current year, it’s safe to say that his innate talents are still in demand.
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Marjolein Dilven is a journalist and founder of Spark Nomad, a travel platform, and Radical FIRE, a personal finance platform. Marjolein has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. She has quit her job to travel the world, documenting her travels on Spark Nomad to help people plan their travels. Marjolein Dilven has written for publications like MSN, Associated Press, CNBC, Town News syndicate, and more.