Get to Know Cece Winans
Written by G Njuguna on January 26, 2024
On our get to know series we feature Cece Winans who is the first artist we look at this year.
The best-selling and most-awarded female gospel artist of all time, CeCe Winans has long since cemented her status as one of the most accomplished and celebrated women in music history. It would be easy to look back and rest on such illustrious honors, but Winans has always had her eyes fixed firmly on the future and is constantly evolving. Her latest chart-topping musical offering, Believe For It (PureSprings Gospel/Fair Trade Services, LLC), is her first live recording featuring some of the biggest songs in Christian music today.
Winans was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Delores and David Winans, on October 8, 1964. She is one of 10 children. Her parents were part of the and would only listen to gospel music. She sang her first solo at the age of 8.
Winans has garnered 15 Grammy Awards, the most for a female gospel singer; 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. Winans is considered one of the greatest gospel artists of all time, and is the most-awarded and best-selling gospel act of all time.
She rose to prominence as a member of the duo BeBe & CeCe Winans; before launching an 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 Winans.
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. 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. 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 has authored three 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; and Always Sisters: Becoming the Princess You Were Created to Be, released on July 17, 2007, co-written with Claudia Mair Burney.