Brian McKnight was born in Buffalo, New York. He had strong musical roots, singing in the church choir and acting as a bandleader in high school. While in his early teens, he began penning instrumentals. He formed his own band and performed his pieces at local venues. When his older brother Claude's gospel group Take 6 received a record deal, Brian McKnight was encouraged to try his own luck.
He was signed by Mercury Records at the age of 19 and eventually went on to release three albums on the label. Brian McKnight's debut was his self-titled album, which was released in 1992 and went platinum. The album featured the singles 'The Way Love Goes' and 'One Last Cry' which reached #11 and #8 on the R&B charts respectively. The album's other two singles, 'Goodbye My Love' and 'After the Love' did not have as much success, peaking at #46 and #39 respectively.
In 1995, he released the album I Remember You which had the hit singles 'Crazy Love' and 'On The Down Low' which reached #10 and #12 on the R&B charts respectively. The album went gold. The third single for the album, 'Still in Love' peaked at #24 on the R&B charts.
Brian McKnight's last album on Mercury was his most successful up to that point, Anytime. The album went double platinum The single 'You Should Be Mine' reached #4 on the R&B charts, McKnight's highest charter to that point. The other single, 'Hold Me' reached #35 on the Hot 100.
Brian McKnight then left Mercury, signing on with Motown. At Motown, he put out the Christmas album, Bethlehem, in 1998. McKnight followed up the success of his Anytime album with his best selling album, Back At One in 1999. Driven by the success of the hit title track, Back At One became Brian McKnights most popular album, selling over three million copies. 'Back At One' was McKnight's only single to reach #1 on the Hot 100 charts. Despite 'Back At One's' success, the album's other singles did not do well. '6, 8, 12' peaked at #48 on the R&B charts, and 'Stay Or Let It Go' peaked at #26.
Since then, Brian McKnight has remained a force in the R&B industry, though he's never been able to match the success of Anytime and Back At One. In 2001, he released the gold album Superhero. The album's singles 'Love of My Life' and 'What's It Gonna Be' reached #11 and #48 on the R&B charts respectively.
Brian McKnight and his wife then got a divorce, which heavily influenced McKnight's next release, U-Turn. Coming out in 2003, the album featured a number of tracks dealing with break-ups. It's one single, 'Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda' reached #35 on the R&B charts and the album went gold.
In 2005, Brian McKnight released the album Gemini. The album scored success with the singles 'Everytime You Go Away' which reached #36 on the R&B charts and 'What We Do Here' which reached #35.
McKnight's most recent album, Ten, celebrating ten albums under his belt, was released on Warner Brothers and carried several hits. 'Used To Be My Girl' reached #25 on the Hot R&B Songs charts, and 'Find Myself In You' which reached #27. 'What's My Name,' the last single on the album, reached #33 on the charts.
Today, Brian McKnight lives in Los Angeles, California and has two sons, Brian Jr (18) and Niko (16).