Donnie McClurkin is a gospel vocalist with the soul of Andraé Crouch and the contemporary flair of Kirk Franklin. Born into a home filled with domestic violence and drug abuse, McClurkin was saved by an aunt who sang background vocals with Crouch himself. 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. Hired as an associate minister at Marvin Winans' Perfecting Church in 1989, with his vocals during a seminar, McClurkin endured a bout of leukemia that year. 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 Maxwell plus Andraé Crouch.