BeBe Winans life and biography

BeBe Winans picture, image, poster

BeBe Winans biography

Date of birth : 1962-09-17
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Detroit, Michigan
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2023-09-21
Credited as : Gospel and R&B singer, BeBe & CeCe Winans, The Movement Group, The Big reunion, The Whitney I Knew

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From BeBe & CeCe to Solo Stardom: The Musical Odyssey of BeBe Winans

BeBe Winans, known for his soulful voice and heartwarming style, is a chart-topping soloist and one-half of the renowned duet act, BeBe & CeCe Winans.

A Rising Star in Gospel and R&B

Born in Detroit in 1962, Benjamin "BeBe" Winans is the youngest brother of ten siblings, four of whom are part of the gospel vocal group, the Winans, known as Mom & Pop Winans (Delores and David Winans). BeBe's musical journey began with contributions to some of the Winans' recordings, but it officially took off when he teamed up with his younger sister Priscilla for their debut album, "Lord Lift Us Up," in 1984. The album made its mark, reaching number 20 on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart.

BeBe & CeCe Winans: A Dynamic Duo

BeBe & CeCe Winans signed with Sparrow Records, releasing their self-titled album in 1987, which soared to number seven on the gospel chart. However, their real breakthrough came with "Heaven" in 1989, securing their first number one hit. They followed up this success with "Different Lifestyles" in 1991, marking their sole R&B/hip-hop chart-topper. The Winans siblings continued their musical journey, releasing albums like "First Christmas" (1993) and "Relationships" (1994), both of which reached the Top Ten on the gospel charts. Eventually, they pursued separate solo careers while Sparrow Records released their "Greatest Hits" album in 1996.

BeBe Winans' Solo Path

In 1997, BeBe Winans embarked on his solo career with the release of his eponymous debut album, "BeBe Winans," on Atlantic Records. The album featured the Hot 100 single "In Harm's Way" and quickly rose to the Top Five of the gospel and Christian album charts, even peaking at 125 on the Billboard 200. His solo journey continued with the Motown-issued "Love & Freedom" in 2000, which not only topped the gospel chart but also reached number 30 on the Billboard 200.

An Artist's Evolution and Achievements

BeBe Winans' music continued to touch hearts and souls as he released albums like "Dream" (2005), which reached number two on the gospel chart, and the live album "Cherch" (2007), which hit number seven. In 2009, BeBe & CeCe Winans reunited for their first album in 15 years, "Still," which topped the gospel chart and reached number 12 on the Billboard 200.

In 2012, BeBe Winans released a solo collection of patriotic songs titled "America America," which, despite its U.S. album chart ranking, reached as high as number two on the gospel chart. BeBe's influence extended to collaborations with artists like Dave Koz & Friends, where he appeared on the Smooth Jazz Songs chart with "All You Need Is Love."

Musical Journey Continues

In the late 1990s, BeBe Winans ventured further into his solo career by signing with Atlantic Records. His self-titled solo debut album, "BeBe Winans," was released in 1997 and featured a collection of captivating songs that showcased his vocal prowess. Notable singles from this album included "In Harm's Way" and "Thank You." However, one song, in particular, "I Wanna Be the Only One," became an international crossover sensation when BeBe collaborated with the British soul trio Eternal. This remarkable collaboration reached the pinnacle of success by topping the UK Singles Chart in May 1997.

Love & Freedom with Motown

Following the success of his debut solo album, BeBe Winans embarked on a new phase of his musical journey with Motown Records. In 2000, he released "Love & Freedom," an album that demonstrated his versatility and ability to collaborate with renowned artists. The lead single, "Coming Back Home," was a soulful ballad featuring R&B luminaries Brian McKnight and Joe, further showcasing BeBe's ability to craft moving and impactful music.

BeBe also paid homage to the legendary Stevie Wonder with a heartfelt remake of the classic "Jesus Children of America," a collaboration that featured his older brother Marvin (The Winans, Winans family) and Stevie Wonder himself.

In 2002, BeBe Winans treated his fans to a live album titled "Live & Up Close." This remarkable album was recorded live at BET studios and featured a lineup of talented guests, including his sister Debra Winans-Lowe and Stephanie Mills. The album was released in both CD and DVD formats, offering fans an immersive experience of BeBe's captivating live performances. The album's first single, "Do You Know Him?" touched the hearts of listeners and further solidified BeBe's status as a dynamic gospel artist.

By 2003, BeBe had established his record label, The Movement Group, and formed a partnership with Still Waters, an inspirational and gospel imprint of Hidden Beach Recordings. This collaboration led to the release of the largely orchestral holiday album "My Christmas Prayer" in 2004, initially available exclusively at Starbucks coffee shops nationwide.

In 2004, BeBe Winans made his film debut with a small role in the remake of "The Manchurian Candidate," featuring Denzel Washington, expanding his artistic horizons beyond music.

In 2005, BeBe Winans continued his solo journey with the release of "Dream." This album featured the powerful single "I Have A Dream," incorporating samples from Martin Luther King's historic speech, making it a poignant and timely release. The album cover itself featured a hand-painted portrait of BeBe standing in front of a Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. street sign, reflecting the album's deep-rooted inspiration.

BeBe also contributed to the soundtrack of the film "The Passion of the Christ" with the duet "Miracle Of Love," performed alongside Angie Stone.

Beyond Music and Honors

Throughout his career, BeBe Winans extended his talents beyond music. He performed alongside Anastacia at the fourth annual "Women Rock" benefit for breast cancer in 2003, showcasing his commitment to charitable causes.

BeBe also made a significant impact as a judge on BET's gospel music competition show, "Sunday Best," alongside gospel duo Mary Mary. He was invited to participate in the remake of "We Are The World" to benefit Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010, demonstrating his dedication to humanitarian efforts.

In 2012, BeBe Winans released "The Whitney I Knew," a heartfelt memoir about his close friendship with Whitney Houston, whom he sang at the funeral of earlier that year. His connection with Whitney added a deeply personal dimension to his remarkable career.

The Big Reunion

In March 2014, BeBe Winans took part in a special performance that captivated audiences. He joined the British pop/R&B group Eternal on stage at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, rekindling the magic of their number one hit, "I Wanna Be the Only One," as part of The Big Reunion live shows.

BeBe Winans' journey in music and entertainment is a testament to his talent, versatility, and unwavering commitment to making a positive impact on the world through his artistry and humanitarian efforts. His legacy continues to inspire and uplift audiences around the globe.

A Legacy of Music and Impact

Over the years, BeBe Winans remained a prominent figure in gospel music, contributing his talents to various albums and projects by artists such as VaShawn Mitchell, Kirk Whalum, and Ricky Dillard & New G. His participation in "Greenleaf: The Gospel Companion Soundtrack, Vol. 1" showcased his enduring influence in the gospel genre.

In 2019, BeBe co-produced "One Last Time [44 Remix]" from Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamildrop series, featuring Barack Obama, which made its mark in the R&B Top 30. That same year, he released "Need You," his first solo album in seven years, via Regimen Records, further solidifying his legacy as a gospel and R&B icon.

BeBe Winans' rich voice and unwavering passion for music continue to inspire generations, leaving an indelible mark on the world of gospel and R&B. His journey is a testament to the enduring power of faith and the impact of soulful music.

Solo albums by BeBe Winans:

* BeBe Winans (Sparrow/Atlantic, 1997)
* Love & Freedom (Motown, 2000)
* Live and Up Close (Motown, 2002)
* My Christmas Prayer (The Movement Group/Still Waters/Hidden Beach, 2004)
* Dream (The Movement Group/Still Waters/Hidden Beach, 2005)
* Cherch (The Movement Group, 2007)
* America, America (My Destiny / Razor & Tie) (2012)
* Need You (2019)

Albums with CeCe Winans

* Lord Lift Us Up (PTL, 1984)
* BeBe And CeCe Winans (Sparrow/Capitol, 1987)
* Heaven (Sparrow/Capitol, 1988)
* Different Lifestyles (Sparrow/Capitol, 1991)
* First Christmas (Sparrow/Capitol, 1993)
* Relationships (Sparrow/Capitol, 1994)
* Greatest Hits (Sparrow/EMI, 1996)
* The Best Of BeBe And CeCe (Sparrow, 2006)
* Still (B&C/ Malaco, 2009) #1 (Gospel), #2 (R&B),#14 (US Pop)


* "All Of Me" (Myrrh, 1996)
* "In Harm's Way" (Atlantic, 1997)
* "Thank You" (Atlantic, 1997)
* "Stay" (Atlantic, 1997)
* "I Wanna Be The Only One (featuring Eternal)" (Atlantic/EMI, 1997)
* "Coming Back Home" (Motown, 2000)
* "Jesus Children Of America" (Motown, 2000)
* "Tonight Tonight" (Motown, 2000)
* "Do You Know Him" (Motown, 2002)
* "I Have A Dream" (TMG/Still Waters, 2005)
* "Safe From Harm" (TMG/Still Waters, 2005)
* "Love Me Anyway" (TMG/Still Waters, 2005)

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