Contemporary gospel icon Kirk Franklin says he's simply "very grateful" over the reception for his 11th album, "Hello Fear." The set, his first studio album in four years and his debut for Verity Records, is Franklin's first album since 2002 to debut in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 -- No. 5 when it was released in March -- while "I Smile" is his first Hot 100-charting single in six years.
"I'm very thankful, man," Franklin tells Billboard.com. "I think it's a beautiful album, a beautiful, incredible record. It's one of the most cohesive bodies of work that God has given me. There are about three or four albums I've done that are like that, that have that cohesiveness. It's really been a gift."