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CeCe Winans

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CeCe Winans
Winans in 2009
Winans in 2009
Background information
Birth namePriscilla Marie Winans
Born (1964-10-08) October 8, 1964 (age 59)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Years active1980–present
Spouse(s)Alvin Love II

Priscilla Marie Winans Love, known professionally as CeCe Winans, /ˈwnænz/ (born October 8, 1964) is an American gospel singer who has garnerned 15 Grammy Awards, the most for any female gospel singer;[1] 31 GMA Dove Awards, 17 Stellar Awards, 7 NAACP Image Awards, along with many other awards and honors to her credit including being one of the inaugural inductees into the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia. Winans is the best-selling and most-awarded female gospel artist of all time and is considered to be one of the greatest gospel artists of traditional gospel, Contemporary Christian Music, R&B, and contemporary/urban Gospel Music.

She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and has 17 million record sales certified by RIAA,[2] and over 19 million estimated in total sales as a solo artist in the United States alone.[3][4] She first rose to prominence between the 1980s and 1990s as a member of the Gospel duo BeBe & CeCe Winans with her brother, Bebe Winans; before launching her own highly acclaimed solo career. Billboard magazine lists all of her solo albums as top Gospel, Christian, and R&B music sellers, and six albums as a duo with her older brother Bebe.[5]

Early life[edit]

Winans was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Delores and David Winans of the famed Winans Family Gospel group, on October 8, 1964.[6] She is one of 10 children. Her parents were part of the Church of God in Christ and would only listen to gospel music. She sang her first solo at the age of 8.[7]

Duo with BeBe Winans[edit]

Winans first went to Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1981 as a singer on the Christian telecast The PTL Club, hosted by Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. Although originally part of the larger Winans family singing group, CeCe and her older brother BeBe became a duo during their time at PTL, in response to positive reactions to their version of the song "Up Where We Belong" sung as a duet, with lyrics changed for Christian audiences. In 1984, CeCe and Bebe released their first album, Lord Lift Us Up, for PTL Records. They achieved crossover success, eventually releasing nine Gold and Platinum recordings, billed as BeBe & CeCe Winans.[8] Winans left PTL in 1984 just before getting married. Her brother left in 1985. They released their second album in 1987: BeBe & CeCe Winans. BeBe & CeCe Winans are the first gospel artists to have their album Different Lifestyles sell over a million units, only the second gospel album to do so after Amazing Grace by Aretha Franklin.

Solo career[edit]

Winans began her solo career with the album Alone in His Presence, released in 1995. It was only the third album by a gospel artist to sell more than a million units. CeCe, along with her brother BeBe, also hold the honor of having the first gospel album to reach platinum by a gospel artist. "Alone In His Presence" earned her a Grammy Award and two Dove Awards, including the Female Vocalist of the Year. Winans's next release, the Gold-certified Everlasting Love, was released in 1998 and featured Winans' highest-charting solo singles: "Well Alright" and "Slippin". The song "On That Day" from the album was written and produced by R&B singer Lauryn Hill. Later that year, Winans released His Gift; a holiday album.

In 1999, Winans started her own recording company, PureSprings Gospel. Her first album on the label was Alabaster Box in 1999. Some production of the disc was done by Gospel singer and musician Fred Hammond. It included a guest appearance by Take 6. In 2000 Winans released a concert VHS titled Live at the Lambs Theater in New York. The concert contained songs from her previous albums. Winans released her next album, the self-titled CeCe Winans, in 2001. The single "Anybody Wanna Pray" included a guest appearance by GRITS. The second single, "Say A Prayer" crossed over into the Contemporary Christian music market.

Winans took a two-year break from releasing albums and returned in 2003 with Throne Room. The first 1,000 copies were issued with a bonus CD that contained exclusive interviews with the artist, the making of the CD, some touring footage, and the music video "More Than What I Wanted" (which came from the 2001 release). In 2004, the 25-city tour Throne Room with the group Anointed featured free admission and was followed with a DVD release of the concert recorded in Tennessee. Live in the Throne Room contained tracks from all of Winans's albums. Around September 2004, Winans experienced what she thought was a flu but turned out to be a serious stomach infection and was hospitalized immediately for surgery. Due to the extended recovery time, the second half of the Throne Room Tour was postponed to early 2005.[9]

Winans's seventh album Purified was released in 2005. Her nephew Mario Winans was one of four producers. Her son Alvin III co-wrote several songs on the album, and her younger sisters Angie and Debbie performed.

Winans' collection of Top Ten R&B radio hits includes "Count On Me", her duet with Whitney Houston, from the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack. The single was certified Gold in the US and reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 4 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and No. 8 on the Billboard R&B Singles chart.

Winans released her eighth album, Thy Kingdom Come on April 1, 2008, featuring the single "Waging War". On October 6, 2009, a BeBe & CeCe reunion album named Still was released by Malaco Records, and features collaborations with Marvin Winans and contemporary gospel sister duo Mary Mary.

On December 23, 2010, Winans, along with Bebe and Mary Mary, featuring the West Angeles Choir, performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.[10]

From 2012 to 2014, Winans was a judge on BET's gospel singing competition, Sunday Best, along with her brother BeBe.[11]

In 2017, Winans released a tenth album, Let Them Fall in Love, for which she won two Grammy Awards for Best Gospel Performance/Song and Best Gospel Album. In 2021 Winans released her first live worship album, Believe for It, which won her three additional Grammy Awards (including Best Gospel Album) in April 2022.[12]

Her latest single debuted on September 14, 2022 known as "Goodness of God."[13]


Winans has authored four books: "On A Positive Note", a memoir released August 1, 2000; "Throne Room: Ushered Into the Presence of God", a devotional released January 1, 2004, and co-authored with Claire Cloninger; "Always Sisters: Becoming the Princess You Were Created to Be", released on July 17, 2007, co-written with Claudia Mair Burney; and most recently, "Believe For It: Passing on Faith to the Next Generation", released and published in 2024.

Personal life[edit]

Winans now[when?] resides in Brentwood, Tennessee,[14] a suburb of Nashville, with her husband Alvin Love II. She has two children, a son and a daughter.[citation needed]

Winans was a close friend of Whitney Houston[15] and godmother to her daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown. On February 18, 2012, Winans performed the songs "Don't Cry for Me" and "Jesus Loves Me" at Houston's funeral, at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey.


See also BeBe & CeCe Winans discography



Live at the Lambs Theater in New York (Recorded at the Lambs Theater in New York City)

  • Released: 2000
  • Format: VHS

Live in the Throne Room (Recorded at the Cornerstone Church in Brentwood, TN)

  • Released: 2004
  • Format: DVD
  • Singles: "Close to you" – Bebe Winans

Music videos[edit]

  • 1996: "Count On Me" (Whitney Houston & Winans)
  • 1998: "Well Alright"
  • 1998: "The River"
  • 2001: "More Than What I Wanted"
  • 2017: "Dancing in the Spirit"
  • 2018: "It's Christmas"
  • 2020: "Never Lost"
  • 2022: “Goodness of God”
  • 2023: “Holy Forever”
  • 2024: “Come Jesus Come”

Television appearances[edit]

This list does not include interviews or musical performances.

Journeys in Black: CeCe Winans (BET documentary of Cece Winans's life)

  • Released: 2002
  • Format: DVD

Awards and nominations[edit]

Winans has received 15 Grammy Awards (out of 31 nominations),[17][1] 28 Dove Awards and 16 Stellar Awards (as well as numerous nominations).[18] She has also been awarded 6 BET Awards, 7 NAACP Image Awards, 1 Soul Train Lady of Soul Award, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Nashville Music City Walk of Fame, and is one of the inaugural inductees into the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame, and many more to her credit. In July 2023, CeCe Winans was honored with the Aretha Franklin Icon Award at BET Stellar Awards.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "CeCe Winans Moves Up to 4th Place on List of GRAMMYs Most-Awarded Women Ever - That Grape Juice". thatgrapejuice.net. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  2. ^ "Gold & Platinum". RIAA. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  3. ^ "CeCe Winans Nominated for 2020 Grammy Best Gospel Album | Ovation Artist Group". www.ovationag.com. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  4. ^ Paulson, Dave. "CeCe Winans has found 'true happiness' as a pastor". The Tennessean. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  5. ^ "CeCe Winans". Billboard.
  6. ^ "CeCe Winans | Biography, Albums, Streaming Links". AllMusic.
  7. ^ Hight, Jewly (February 2, 2017). "'At This Age, This Is Who I Am': The Gospel According To CeCe Winans". NPR. Retrieved October 29, 2020.
  8. ^ "Profile: BeBe & CeCe Winans". National Museum of African American Music. July 31, 2018. Archived from the original on January 27, 2021. Retrieved October 29, 2020.
  9. ^ LaTonya Taylor (October 2005). "Purified by Fire". Christianity Today. Retrieved August 25, 2007.
  10. ^ Fusemix. "Cece Winans and Bebe Winans on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno 12/23/10".
  11. ^ "CeCe Winans". BET. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  12. ^ "2022 GRAMMYs Awards Show: Complete Winners & Nominations List". www.grammy.com. Retrieved April 29, 2022.
  13. ^ CeCe Winans - Goodness of God (Official Video), retrieved January 18, 2023
  14. ^ Norment, Lynn (1998). "At Home with CeCe Winans". Ebony Magazine. Retrieved August 25, 2007.
  15. ^ "Ebony". Johnson Publishing Company. June 1996.
  16. ^ a b "CeCe Winans Official Biography". PureSprings Gospel. Archived from the original on August 25, 2007. Retrieved August 3, 2007.
  17. ^ National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, CeCe Winans, grammy.com, USA, retrieved May 8, 2021
  18. ^ Gospel Music Association, Past winners : CeCe Winans, doveawards.com, USA, retrieved May 8, 2021

Works cited[edit]

  • Winans, CeCe: On a Positive Note (August 1, 2000)

External links[edit]