Franklin’s latest musical offering—and 13th studio album—is the aptly titled LONG LIVE LOVE from his RCA-distributed label, Fo Yo Soul Recordings. But even before the album’s May 31st release date, its first single is already laying down some serious groundwork.
“Love Theory” bowed at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart and has kept the position on lock for nine weeks. The vibrant track marked the singer’s record-extending seventh No. 1 and his second start atop the chart. With 1 million U.S. streams in its first week per Nielsen Music, “Love Theory” also opened at No. 1 on Gospel Streaming Songs as well as Gospel Digital Song Sales. Its colorful and energetic video has accumulated over 2.5 million YouTube views and counting.
“When people can see themselves as being loved, no matter who or how they are, it gives them more of the ability to love,” says Franklin; which is the inspiration for “Love Theory” and the theme of the video. “It’s my constant story about this message of love, the love of God, and me trying to play my role in that conversation.”
Among the other striking conversation-starters on the 10-track LONG LIVE LOVE are the introspective “Just for Me,” the insightful “Father Knows Best” and the cautionary “Idols.” As the very first song that Franklin wrote for the album, “Idols” is the hinge the album hangs. It addresses the issue of people placing too much emphasis on things like their careers, body image, and money. Or on their service to God; that sometimes becomes more important than the man himself.