Mario Winans

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Mario Winans
Birth name Mario Mendell Brown
Born (1974-08-29) August 29, 1974 (age 41)
Origin Orangeburg, South Carolina, United States
Genres R&B, hip hop
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, producer, actor, rapper
Years active 1995–present
Labels Bad Boy, Queen Bee, Undeas, Worldwide, Atlantic, Universal
Associated acts Tim & Bob, Diddy, The Hitmen, Timati, Kay One, Lil' Flip, Ashanti, Lil' Kim, Guerilla Black, Ginuwine, Tamia, Faith Evans, Rick Ross, Kelis, Brisco

Mario Mendell Winans (born August 29, 1974) is an R&B producer, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist best known for his 2004 song "I Don't Wanna Know", which reached number 2 in the United States and number 1 in the United Kingdom. Winans also won a Grammy Award for Best Gospel Performance for co-writing CeCe Winans's song "Pray".

Early life[edit]

Born Mario Brown, he is the son of gospel recording artist Vickie Winans (née Bowman) and her first husband, Bishop Ronald Brown. He is also the stepson of his mother's second husband, gospel singer, Pastor Marvin Winans whom she married in 1978. Marvin and Vickie Winans had twos sons, Josiah Winans, and Marvin Winans Jr. Vickie and Marvin Winans divorced in 1995 and she has since remarried.

Mario Winans began learning piano, keyboards, and drums while still in grade school in Detroit and learned how to work in a recording studio at an early age. He began producing gospel music professionally after graduating high school, eventually working with gospel music artists Fred Hammond, The Clark Sisters and various members of the Winans gospel music family. But unlike the rest of his family who stuck with gospel, Mario also delved into secular music.

Musical career[edit]

Story of My Heart (1995–97)[edit]

In the mid-1990s, Mario was signed to a production deal with Dallas Austin's Rowdy Records thru producers Tim & Bob. He lived with the duo at their house studio until his breakthrough came as a Christian songwriter, musician and co-producer on R. Kelly's "I Can't Sleep Baby" and "You Remind Me of Something" (plus three more songs) from the R. Kelly album in 1995. He also worked with Pebbles and 98 Degrees.

Winans eventually released his debut album Story of My Heart on Motown in 1997. While the song "Don't Know" reached the US R&B top 50, the album failed to chart.

Soon after, Winans teamed up with P. Diddy and his Bad Boy roster, playing drums on "Come with Me" by Diddy and Jimmy Page, based on the classic Led Zeppelin song "Kashmir" from their 1975 album Physical Graffiti.

Over the next several years Winans produced songs for Bad Boy artists including Diddy, The Notorious B.I.G., Lil' Kim, Faith Evans, Loon, Black Rob, and 112. He has also worked with notable artists outside Bad Boy including Destiny's Child, Mary J. Blige, Whitney Houston, Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Tamia, Eminem and Brian McKnight.

Winans co-wrote the two-part song "I Need a Girl" with P. Diddy and appeared on "Pt. 2" along with Loon, Ginuwine, and Diddy, which became a hit recording in 2002. He also produced the Bad Boy remix compilation We Invented the Remix in 2002.

Hurt No More (2001–05)[edit]

Winans recorded his second album Hurt No More in 2001, 2002, and 2003 in between working with other artists. The album is based on stories of love and betrayal.

The first single "I Don't Wanna Know" was based on a sample of the Fugees' 1996 hit single "Ready or Not", which itself was based on a slowed-down sample of the instrumental track "Boadicea" by Enya from her 1987 self-titled album. Enya and her representatives became angry when Winans did not seek her approval for the sample, as he was unaware that the Fugees sample he had used had itself been a sample. So, a compromise was reached to credit the single as "Mario Winans featuring P. Diddy and Enya".[1] The song features a rap by P. Diddy. The song was released as the single in early 2004 and became a worldwide hit, reaching number 1 in Germany and the United Kingdom and on the rhythmic top 40 radio chart in the United States; to number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the US R&B/Hip-Hop singles chart; and to number 3 on both the Australian and Norwegian singles charts. It also reached the top ten on a composite European singles chart.

Hurt No More was released on April 20, 2004 in the US and by early June 2004 had reached number 1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, number 2 on the Billboard 200, and number 3 on the UK Albums Chart.

The album's second single, "Never Really Was", used a sample of the orchestrated beginning of Madonna's 1986 hit, "Papa Don't Preach", as its background music. However, the song failed to chart in America. A remix version was released as a single featuring rapper Lil Flip.

The song "This Is the Thanks I Get" was stated to be the album's third and final single but no official release was set. The song went on to peak on the Billboard Bubbling Under R&B chwrt at number 12.

My Purpose (2006)[edit]

Winans appeared on Diddy's album, Press Play producing, writing and singing on "Through the Pain (She Told Me)" and the hit single "Last Night" with Keyshia Cole. "Last Night" was originally intended for his own album, which he had apparently been recording for release in 2007, but this never occurred.


In 2010, Winans also executive produced Diddy's Dirty Money album Last Train to Paris and Trey Songz' 2010 single "Can't Be Friends", which topped the American R&B chart for over 10 weeks.

In 2014, Winans was said to be working on another solo album, as well as overseeing his label Love Legacy.



List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions

Story of My Heart
Hurt No More
  • Released: April 20, 2004
  • Label: Bad Boy
  • Formats: CD
2 1


List of singles as lead artist, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications Album
1997 "Don't Know" 108 48 Story of My Heart
2004 "I Don't Wanna Know" (featuring Enya and P. Diddy) 2 2 1 Hurt No More
"Never Really Was" (featuring Lil' Flip) 90 44
2005 "This Is the Thanks I Get" (featuring Black Rob) 112
2010 "Mine" (featuring Sahara aka Costi Ioniţă & Andrea)

As featured performer[edit]

List of singles as lead artist, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications Album
1999 "Best Friends" (Puff Daddy featuring Mario Winans) 59 3 9 2 Forever
2002 "I Need a Girl (Part Two)" (P. Diddy feat. Ginuwine, Loon) 4 2 2 1 4 We Invented the Remix Vol. 1
2003 "Down 4 Me" (Loon feat. Mario Winans) 103 28 19 Loon
"Crush on You" (Mr. Cheeks feat. Mario Winans) 52 Back Again!
2005 "You're the One" (Guerilla Black feat. Mario Winans) 77 43 24 23 Guerilla City
2007 "Through the Pain (She Told Me)" (Diddy feat. Mario Winans) 107 50 Press Play
"Hey Baby (After the Club)" (Ashanti feat. Mario Winans) 87 40 The Declaration
2008 "Forever" (Timati feat. Mario Winans) The Boss, SWAGG
2009 "Dream" (Massiv feat. Mario Winans) Meine Zeit
2012 "I Need A Girl (Part Three)" (Kay One feat. Mario Winans) Prince of Belvedair

Production credits[edit]


King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude Composer, Production

MMM Production

All Day Production

Hollywood: A Story of a Dozen Roses Composer, Instrumentation, Producer


Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics: Dance Remixes Audio Production, Instrumentation

The Essential R. Kelly Drum Programming


A Place Called Love Land Composer, Producer


Two Eleven Composer, Instrumentation, Producer


Conquer Composer, Producer

Lullaby Tribute to CeCe Winans Composer


Last Train to Paris Composer, Executive Producer, Keyboards, Musician, Producer

Passion, Pain & Pleasure Composer, Producer


Still Composer, Instrumentation, Producer

The Rose Experience Audio Production, Composer, Producer


Day26 Composer, Musician, Producer

Got Me Going Composer, Instrumentation, Producer

In and Out of Love Audio Production, Composer

Just a Rolling Stone Audio Production, Composer, Instrumentation, Main Personnel, Mixing, Producer, Various Instruments

Let's Get Physical Featured Artist, Guest Artist, Primary Artist, Producer

Praise & Worship Composer

The Message Drums

Welcome to the Dollhouse Arranger, Composer, Producer


American Gangster Jay-Z Drums, Producer, Strings

Do or Dare Composer, Instrumentation, Producer

Don't Talk, Just Listen Audio Production, Composer, Producer

Happy Holidays Mixing, Vocals (Background) Ashanti Hey Baby (After the Club) Composer

Just Like You Composer, Instrumentation, Producer, Vocal Producer

Last Night Composer, Producer 8Ball and MJG Ridin' High Audio Production, Composer

Street Beef Loops

  • Mario Winans

The Pain Primary Artist

The Revolution Primary Artist

Through the Pain (She Told Me) Composer, Guest Artist, Instrumentation, Primary Artist, Producer, Vocal Producer


Come to Me Keyboards, Overdubs

Come to Me Pt. 1 Keyboards, Overdubs

Danity Kane Composer, Producer

Do or Dare Composer, Instrumentation, Producer

Play Producer

Port of Miami Audio Production, Composer, Engineer, Guest Artist, Main Personnel, Primary Artist, Producer, Vocals

Press Play Additional Music, Composer, Drums, Instrumentation, Keyboards, Main Personnel, Overdubs, Primary Artist, Producer, String Arrangements, Vocal Producer

Time Is Money Main Personnel, Primary Artist

Woman to Women: Songs of Life Composer, Instrumentation, Mixing, Primary Artist, Producer, Spoken Word


Brings the Heat Vol. 1 Primary Artist, Producer

Duets: The Final Chapter Composer, Producer

Neva Get Enuff Composer

Pleasure & Pain Audio Production, Composer, Producer

Purified Audio Production, Instrumentation, Main Personnel, Producer, Various Instruments

The First Lady Bass, Composer, Guest Artist, Main Personnel, Primary Artist, Producer, Vocals

The One Audio Production, Instrumentation, Main Personnel, Multi Instruments, Producer, Various Instruments


An Intimate Evening with Mary J. Blige Composer

Bad Boy's 10th Anniversary: The Hits Composer, Primary Artist

Destiny Fulfilled Audio Production, Composer, Producer

Guerilla City Audio Production, Composer, Featured Artist, Main Personnel, Primary Artist, Producer

  • Mario Winans

Hurt No More Composer, Instrumentation, Mixing, Primary Artist, Producer, Vocals, Vocals (Background)

  • Mario Winans

I Don't Wanna Know Composer, Primary Artist

  • 2004 - I Don't Wanna Know, Pt. 2 0 Mario Winans Primary Artist
  • Carl Thomas

Lets Talk About It Composer, Producer

Live from Los Angeles Composer

More Composer, Featured Artist, Guest Artist, Primary Artist

  • Mario Winans

Never Really Was Composer, Primary Artist

On the 6 Composer

One Love Composer, Producer


Back Again! Composer, Featured Artist, Guest Artist, Instrumentation, Multi Instruments, Primary Artist, Producer

Bringing It All Together Mixing, Performer, Producer

Crazy in Love [Australia CD] Composer

Hot & Wet Composer

Loon Featured Artist, Guest Artist, Primary Artist, Producer, Vocals (Background)

Love & Life Composer, Guest Artist, Instrumentation, Musician, Producer

Love @ 1st Sight Composer, Producer

Shake Ya Tailfeather [Australia CD] Composer, Primary Artist

Star Composer, Producer

The R. in R&B Collection, Vol. 1 Drum Programming

The Reel Me Producer


A Girl Can Mack Instrumentation, Producer

From There to Here: 1989-2002 Composer, Producer, Unknown Contributor Role

I'm Gonna Be Alright Composer

J to tha L–O! The Remixes Composer, Producer, Remix Producer

Redemption Composer, Executive Producer, Featured Artist, Guest Artist, Instrumentation, Multi Instruments, Primary Artist, Producer, Vocals (Background)

We Invented the Remix Composer, Performer, Primary Artist

Whatchulookinat Musician, Remix Producer


Child of the Ghetto Instrumentation, Producer, Programming

Faithfully Composer, Instrumentation, Producer

J. Lo Composer, Instrumentation, Multi-Track Mix, Musician, Producer, Vocals (Background)

No More Drama Programming, Remixing

Part III Composer

The Benzino Project Composer

The Saga Continues Composer, Multi Instruments, Performer, Primary Artist, Producer


Emotional Composer, Guest Artist, Producer, Vocals

Pebbles Greatest Hits Composer

Shyne Composer

The Notorious K.I.M.Performer, Producer

War & Peace Vol. 2 Producer

All Night Long Overdubs


Best Friends Guest Artist

Born Again Producer, Programming

Double Up Composer

Forever Composer, Featured Artist, Performer, Primary Artist, Producer, Programming, Vocals

Heat It Up Composer, Producer

Life Story Drums, Featured Artist, Guest Artist, Performer, Primary Artist, Producer, Programming

Live From Detroit, Vol. 2 Remixing


Come With Me Drums

Keep the Faith Overdubs

Kima, Keisha, and Pam Composer, Producer

Mo'hogany Composer, Producer

Room 112 Composer, Overdubs

Tamia Composer, Multi Instruments, Producer, Programming, Vocals (Background)

The Other Woman Composer, Guest Artist, Producer, Unknown Contributor Role, Vocals (Background)

The Professional Composer, Primary Artist


98° Composer, Guest Artist, Multi Instruments, Producer

Bold Composer

Don't Know - Composer, Executive Producer, Multi Instruments, Primary Artist, Producer, Remixing, Vocals

Story of My Heart Composer, Executive Producer, Multi Instruments, Primary Artist, Producer, Vocals


  • "Put Ya Arm Around Me" (#16 US, #7 UK)
  • "Thanks I Get"
  • "Mr Cool" (Tamia ft. Mario Winans)
  • "Get Away" (Rick Ross ft. Mario Winans)
  • "Ridin'" (Belly ft. Mario Winans) (#80 CAN)
  • "Rock the Party" (Benzino ft. Mario Winans)
  • "Save Your Love" (Mams Taylor ft. Mario Winans & Stephen Michael)
  • "Ever Wonder" (Faith Evans ft. Mario Winans)
  • "This One That One" (DJ King SamS ft. Mario Winans & Brisco )


  • "Don't Know"
  • "Don't Know (Remix)" (Featuring: Mase)
  • "I Don't Wanna Know" (Featuring: P.Diddy)
  • "Never Really Was" (Featuring: Lil' Flip)
  • "I Need a Girl Part.II" (Featuring: Ginuwine)
  • "You're the One" (guest appearance)
  • "Down 4 Me" (guest appearance)
  • "Best Friend" (guest appearance)
  • "Rock the Party" (guest appearance)
  • "Through the Pain (She Told Me)" (guest appearance)
  • "Tell Me" (guest appearance with Piero Esteriore)
  • "Ridin" (guest appearance)
  • "Forever" (guest appearance feat. Timati)
  • "Dream" (guest appearance feat. Massiv)
  • "Mine" (feat. Sahara)
  • "I Need A Girl (Part Three)" (guest appearance feat. Kay One)
  • "These Girls" (guest appearance feat. Kaan Gülsoy)

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • Grammy Awards
    • 2005, Best Contemporary R&B Album: Hurt No More (Nominated)
  • Grammy Awards
    • 2006, Best Gospel Performance: "Pray" (Winner; as writer/producer)
  • Grammy Awards
    • 2016, Best Rap Song: "All Day" (Nominated; as writer/co-producer)
  • Image Awards
    • 2005, Outstanding New Artist: Hurt No More (Nominated)
  • MOBO Awards
    • 2004, Best Song: "I Don't Wanna Know" (Nominated)
    • 2004, Best Ringtone: "I Don't Wanna Know" (Winner)
  • Vibe Awards
    • 2004, R&B Song of the Year: "I Don't Wanna Know" (Nominated)


  • Mike Jones - American Dream (2007)


External links[edit]