Artist Focus: BeBe Winans

Friday, 26 May 2017
The youngest brother born into the First Family of Gospel, BeBe Winans has stayed true to his musical roots whilst progressing to become a musical star in his own right.
The seventh of eight Winans siblings, BeBe was born in 1962 in Detroit and soon began to carve out his own musical career. Originally performing with his sister CeCe (who’s since gone on to become the best-selling female Gospel artist of all time) on the tv show ‘Praise the Lord Club’ (PTL), the siblings were so popular the they were soon able to spin off and release albums of their own.

A string of hits on Sparrow/Capitol Records soon followed, invariably reaching no.1 on US Gospel and R&B charts. 1991’s ‘Different Lifestyles’ contained the singles ‘I’ll Take You There’ and ‘Addictive Love’, both of which charted at no.1 and powered the album to a Grammy at the 1992 version of the awards.

After five albums (one Platinum), three Grammys, and two Soul Train awards, which cemented their legacy as one of the most successful Gospel acts of all time, BeBe and CeCe went their separate ways to pursue solo careers.

BeBe’s solo debut came in the form of ‘BeBe Winans’, his self-titled release on Atlantic Records which contained the heartfelt classic ‘In Harms’ Way’ and his duet with British R&B trio Eternal ‘I Wanna be the Only One’ which reached no.1 in the UK singles chart, BeBe’s first time reaching the top spot in the UK.

After making the switch to legendary Detroit soul label Motown (famous for working with icons of the genre like The Temptations and Gladys Knight & The Pips), BeBe released 2000’s ‘Love & Freedom’, which saw him collaborating with the rest of the Winans clan, as well as the likes of Stevie Wonder.

Since then, BeBe has continued to release albums in both Gospel and Soul (2005’s Martin Luther King Jr.-inspired ‘Dream’ is a particular highlight), as well as establishing himself as a ridiculously diverse performer and character within the entertainment industry.

He’s set up his own music label (The Movement Group), hosts his own US radio show (The BeBe Winans Radio Show), and has acted both on-screen (in ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ with Denzel Washington) and on-stage with fellow music legend Chaka Khan (‘The Colour Purple’). To the relief of Winans fans the world-over, BeBe also reunited with CeCe in 2009 to release their ninth album ‘Still’, which bagged them another two Grammy awards.

BeBe truly is a musical legend, and his astonishingly soulful voice is instantly recognisable – we can’t wait to welcome him to the main Groove Odyssey stage at 51st State in August!