CeCe Winans Showcases Long-Awaited Album

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

winansEver wonder how a music artist with a 30-year performing career chooses songs for a concert tour?

“Some people may be shocked,” advised gospel singer-songwriter CeCe Winans. “But I’m singing every one of the songs from my new album on this tour. I want people to hear all these new songs.”

“Let Them Fall in Love” is the veteran artist’s first all-new collection in nine years. She calls them “songs that everyone can learn something from.” It’s another milestone in a decades-long inspirational-gospel career, which included many years in a successful R&B-gospel duo with her brother BeBe Winans.

Cece, 52, brings her music to DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids on July 13.

NEW SONGS TELL A STORY

The album’s title song might suggest a romantic theme. But the substance of the lush, piano and strings ballad is actually a prayer…”Father…let them fall in love with You.”

Other new selections include the praise-filled “Marvelous,” a soothing invitation for “Peace With God,” and the rhythmic, choir-singing, call-and-response classic gospel “Dancing in the Spirit.”

There’s also a version of the old Kris Kristofferson ballad, “Why Me?”

“I think we’ve all had those moments when we’ve done things we’re ashamed of,” said Winans of her decision to include the country-ish melody with its plea for forgiveness.

Released last February, the album remains in the top ten on the Billboard gospel chart.

BRUSHES WITH FAME

Winans is likely the most honored female gospel singer ever. Ten Grammy Awards, 20 Dove Awards, seven Stellar Awards, plus Soul Train, Essence, NAACP Image and other tributes.

Her success has crossed over into the mainstream with TV appearances and acting roles. Another spot in the public eye came from her friendship with the late pop superstar Whitney Houston.

“I remember meeting her at an awards function in Los Angeles,” said Winans.

“She (Houston) came right up to me, said my name and started singing one of my songs to me!”

Winans told her that she and BeBe would be performing that evening at an area venue. Houston said she would be coming.

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“I thought…..’Right….’” Winans recalled.

“But she ended up coming and went right up on stage singing our songs with us better than we could sing them.”

The Winans and Houston’s duet “Count On Me” reached the top ten on pop charts and was included in the soundtrack for the film “Waiting To Exhale.”

THE WINANS WAY

The eighth of 10 children in the famed Winans family of Detroit, CeCe joined her brothers and sisters in pursuing gospel music. She and her brother BeBe anchored a duo which had an award-winning run during the ‘80s and ‘90s. Her first solo album came more than 20 years ago. (She and her Detroit-native husband Alvin Love moved to Nashville before her solo career).

An unforeseen role for the couple was starting a church – Nashville Life Church, which they co-pastor.

“It started with my kids and their friends,” said the artist. “They were college age and they asked to have a Bible study in our home and wanted to invite others.”

Soon they had 30 people…millenials of all backgrounds represented.

After five years, they are now meeting with around 200 on hand.

“Twenty years earlier someone had prayed over us that we would be pastors,” Winans recalled. “Never would I have believed that because we are so busy with what we do.”

The next challenge for Winans will be her role as mother of the bride. Her daughter Ashley is getting married in September. “I’ve got some good people to help me with everything,” she smiled of wedding preparations.

AREA CONNECTIONS

The singer-songwriter has performed several times in Grand Rapids. In 1996 she sang as part of the former Sunday Evening Series sponsored by LaGrave Ave. Christian Reformed Church. Two years later she was in town on the program of the Amy Grant-Michael W. Smith Christmas concert at Van Andel Arena.

Winans is also a fan of Grand Rapids gospel singer/pastor Marvin Sapp.

“I love Marvin,” she said. “I knew him back in the days when he was in the group Commissioned.”

Details:
CeCe Winans , with the “Let Them Fall In Love” Tour, sponsored by Medi-Share, a Christian care ministry
7:30pm Thur. July 13
DeVos Performance Hall, 303 Monroe Ave. NW Grand Rapids.
Tickets from $29 to $49, available via Ticketmaster outlets, Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place box offices, www.ticketmaster.com, 800-745-3000.

Author Information
Terry DeBoer
About:
Writer: West Michigan Christian News August 2011 – Present (1 year 6 months) Monthly publication and web site with news, features, and information of interest to the West Michigan Christian community Feature writer: Muskegon Chronicle April 1996 – Present (16 years 10 months) Writer: Kalamazoo Gazette July 1991 – Present (21 years 7 months) beat includes convering contemporary Christian and Gospel music feature writer Grand Rapids Press May 1988 – Present (24 years 9 months)

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