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Donnie McClurkin
Born November 9, 1959 (1959-11-09) (age 50)
Origin Amityville, New York, U.S.
Genres Gospel,
Contemporary Christian,
Inspirational/Worship, Hymns
Years active 1996 - present

Donnie McClurkin (born November 9, 1959 in Amityville, New York) is an American gospel music singer and minister. He has won two Grammy awards, ten Stellar awards, two BET awards, two Soul Train awards, one Dove award and one NAACP Image award for his work.


Early life

McClurkin was born and raised in Amityville, New York. When he was eight years old, his two-year-old brother was hit and killed by a speeding driver and the night of the funeral, McClurkin's uncle raped him.[1] Domestic violence and drug abuse took hold in the family. At the age of thirteen, McClurkin was again raped, this time by his cousin, his uncle's son. McClurkin found comfort through an aunt who sang background vocals with gospel music musician Andraé Crouch.

After staying close to Crouch throughout his boyhood, he began to play piano and sing with his church youth choir. He formed the McClurkin Singers by the time he was a teenager, and later formed another group, the New York Restoration Choir.[2][3]


He was hired as an associate minister at Marvin Winans' Perfecting Faith Church in 1989.[1] The Winans are a well-established family of singers who have dominated the modern gospel genre and also crossed over into soul and pop. McClurkin served as an assistant to Winans for over a decade.

In 1991, a sharp pain and swelling, followed by internal bleeding, led, he says, to a diagnosis of leukemia. The doctor suggested immediate treatment, but McClurkin, who was then 31, decided take his own advice. "I tell people to believe that God will save you," he says, "[and] I had to turn around and practice the very thing that I preached."[4]

He was ordained and sent out by Winans in 2001 to establish Perfecting Faith Church in Freeport, Long Island, where he is now Senior Pastor.[5][6]

In 2004, he sang at the Republican National Convention.[7][8] The appearance generated criticism for the event organizers and McClurkin for his statements on homosexuality, a subject which is often seen as immoral by evangelical religions. Although he identified as gay for several years, McClurkin states that he is now ex-gay.[9][10] In his book Eternal Victim, Eternal Victor McClurkin wrote that homosexuality is a spiritual issue and that one can be delivered from it but by God; "The abnormal use of my sexuality continued until I came to realize that I was broken and that homosexuality was not God's intention [...] for my masculinity."[11] He then describes himself as going through a process by which he became "saved and sanctified." McClurkin has stated that homosexuality is a curse.[7] McClurkin also speaks openly about sexual issues since becoming the biological father of a child with a woman to whom he was not married.[12] He uses these life experiences in his concerts and speaking engagements.

McClurkin's listing as a headlining performer for Senator Barack Obama's 2008 Presidential campaign stirred controversy because of his views on homosexuality.[13][14][15] As a result McClurkin was removed from the performance roster but he still performed at one of the concerts.[16]


A friendship with a Warner Alliance executive resulted in his signing to the label for his 1996 self-titled LP, with producers Mark Kibble of Take 6, Cedric and Victor Caldwell plus Andraé Crouch. The disc, which featured the perennially popular "Stand," went gold shortly after being publicly lauded by Oprah Winfrey.[17] At the 48th annual Grammy Awards, he won in the category Traditional Soul Gospel Album, for "Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs".[18] McClurkin is best known for his hit songs “Stand” and “We Fall Down” which are played in heavy rotation on both Gospel and Urban radio. His three solo albums have topped the Billboard charts.[19]

Dovetailing off the success of his near double-platinum selling live album, McClurkin released “We All Are One: Live In London” in 2009 which also topped Billboard charts across various musical genres. He performed tracks on his last live album in Japanese, Russian, Spanish, and Dutch.

Radio and television

McClurkin struck a deal with advertising giant Dial-Global and syndicator Gary Bernstein, allowed him to launch the Donnie McClurkin Radio Program.[20] He built a mobile recording studio in his church that he can also take on the road. He is quoted as saying "As much as I love music and singing, I really love doing radio and the direct feedback I get from my listeners all over the country. I never thought I would be having this much fun doing radio and I could touch and impact so many people."[21]

In 2009 he also broadcast his own television show titled “Perfecting Your Praise” on cable television.[22] His television appearances include Good Morning America, CBS Saturday’s Early Show, and the View. He has also been featured in movies like “The Gospel”, “The Fighting Temptations” and television shows “Girlfriends” and “The Parkers.”


  • 2009 Attachments
  • 2009 We All Are One: Live in Detroit
  • 2008 Valley Of God
  • 2007 The Essential Donnie McClurkin
  • 2005 ...Again [DualDisc]
  • 2005 Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs
  • 2003 ...Again
  • 2000 Live in London and More...
  • 1996 Donnie McClurkin


Notable television appearances:
  • An Evening of Stars: Tribute to Stevie Wonder (2006)
  • 20th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards (2005)
  • 19th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards (2004)
  • 18th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards Preshow (2003)
  • 17th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards (2002)
  • Essence Awards (2003)
  • The Parkers (2002)
  • Girlfriends (2001)
  • 1st Annual BET Awards (2001)
  • Essence Awards (2001)
  • An Evening of Stars: A Celebration of Educational Excellence (2001)


  1. ^ a b Jeffers, Glenn (August 2001). "How Donnie McClurkin Overcame Rape, Sexual Abuse And Leukemia Scare To Become A Gospel Music Star". Ebony.  
  2. ^ "WLIB New York Radio Station". WLIB.  
  3. ^ "Malaco Gospel". MalacoRecords.  
  4. ^ "How Donnie McClurkin Overcame Rape, Sexual Abuse And Leukemia Scare To Become A Gospel Music Star". EbonyMagazine. August, 2001.  
  5. ^ "Official Perfecting Faith Church website". PFC.  
  6. ^ "Popular Gospel Singer Donnie McClurkin Ordained As Pastor". Jet Magazine. June 25, 2001.  
  7. ^ a b Richard Leiby (August 29, 2004). "Donnie McClurkin, Ready to Sing Out Against Gay 'Curse'". The Washington Post.  
  8. ^ "The Donnie McClurkin Story:From Darkness to Light". Donnie McClurkin. November 23, 2004.  
  9. ^ EDGE Boston :: News :: GLBT
  10. ^ Fischler, Marcelle (September 12, 2004). "Reaching Out, and Into a Turf Battle". New York Times: p. 1.  
  11. ^ DL Foster ((ISBN 1-56229-162-9)). "Eternal Victim/Eternal Victor: Making the Case for Victory".  
  12. ^ Lawton, Kim (May 6, 2005). "PROFILE: Donnie McClurkin (Interview)". PBS Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.  
  13. ^ Eleveld, Kerry (October 27, 2007), "Obama Explains Why He's the Best Candidate for LGBT Americans", The Advocate,, retrieved 2007-10-26  
  14. ^ [1] TPM Election's story on McClurkin's invovlement with the Obama '08 Campaign
  15. ^ Obama Delivers Most Crucial Speech of His Campaign | Election 2008 |
  16. ^ "Embrace The Change Gospel Concert". Barack Obama. October 28, 2007.  
  17. ^ "Donnie McClurkin: Gospel Music's Hidden Treasure". Jet Magazine. January 6, 2003.  
  18. ^ List of Grammy winners
  19. ^ "Billboard Charts". Billboard.  
  20. ^ "The Donnie McClurkin Radio Show". Gary Bernstein.  
  21. ^ "WBLS Radio". WBLS.  
  22. ^ "Donnie McClurkin Launches Weekly Television Broadcast". Black Christian News. May 13, 2009.  

External links

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