“Don’t reinvent the wheel, just realign it.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo
Learning from people that have succeeded is one way to make your journey smooth without going through the rough patches many go through before struggling to succeed. And even when they succeed, they are left with bruises that live with them for life – It becomes a lesson they tell others to avoid.
As I guide and help you soar in your musical journey, I will also share with you the biography of a gospel artist who was not only successful but is still a case study for people trying to dive in the gospel music industry today. This artist is CeCe Winans.Priscilla Marie Winans Love popularly called by her stage name as CeCe Winans is an American gospel singer who has sold over 12 million records worldwide and won 12 Grammy Awards. CeCe is the best-selling Female of all time as of 2015.
The incredible feet of achievement accrued by CeCe Winans is a case study upcoming artiste should take their time to study. In helping you simplify this process, I took my time to study important moves that helped CeCe Winans achieve stardom in the contemporary gospel music industry.
1. She Collaborated with her Brother to Create Fame
CeCe Winans was the eighth of ten siblings. Born in the revered Detroit-based Winans family, CeCe Winans (born Priscilla) became a prominent contemporary gospel artist through performances and recordings with brother BeBe.
There has been several of the Winans groupings before the emergence of BeBe and CeCe. But as a group, they both proved to be the most commercially successful of the numerous Winans groupings.
Their first album, Lord Lift Us Up was released on PTL in 1984. Cece & Bee later moved to the Sparrow label where they released five albums through the mid-90s. This was the period the dual group experience tremendous success.
2. She Added More Contemporary Forms of Production
This was the era where contemporary gospel music evolved. They played a major part in making this happen. CeCe and BeBe noticed that their audience embraced more of their contemporary songs that others, then they focused more on that genre of music.
Their biggest album, “Different Lifestyles” (1991), topped Billboard’s gospel and R&B/hip-hop charts, went platinum and won a Grammy. Two singles in that album “Addictive Love” and Staple Singers cover I’ll take you there (Featuring Mavis Staples,) also topped multiple billboard genre chats.
3. CeCe Understood the Times
There are time and seasons for everything. Being successful as a recording artist with a family member would have been enough for some people.
She began her solo career by releasing the album “Alone in His Presence”. This platinum-certified album released in 1995 earned her a Grammy Award and two Dove Awards including the Female Vocalist of the year an award she also won in 1997.
4. She Started Her Own Record Label
In 1999, CeCe started her own recording Company “Puresprings Gospel”. Her first label on the label was the album that was a hit “Alabaster Box” in 1999. And she released other popular albums like Concert VHS titled “Live at the Lambs Theatre in New York, Self-titled “CeCe Winans” in 2001, among others.
CeCe’s collection of Top Ten R&B radio hits includes “Count On Me”, her duet with Whitney Houston, from the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack. The single was certified Gold in the US and reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 4 on the Adult Contemporary chart and No. 8 on the Billboard R&B Singles charts.
Winans released her eighth album, Thy Kingdom Come on April 1, 2008, featuring the single “Waging War”. On October 6, 2009, a BeBe & CeCe reunion album named Still was released. It is the ninth album released by the brother/sister duo. The album was released under Malaco Records and features collaborations with Marvin Winans and contemporary gospel sisters’ duo Mary Mary.
On December 23, 2010, Cece along with BeBe Winans & Mary Mary, featuring the West Angeles Choir, performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
From 2012 to 2014, Winans was a judge on BET’s gospel singing competition, Sunday Best, along with her brother Bebe